Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Montoya completes first IndyCar test for Penske

Juan Pablo Montoya has completed his first day of IndyCar testing since his return to the series was announced in September.

The Colombian ran 20 laps on the first day of a two day test at Sebring in Florida, setting times comparable to new Penske team mate Will Power.

Power, who shook-down the car prior to Montoya's running wasn't surprised to see Montoya on the pace right away.

"You don't win races in Formula One and poles in Formula One and races in the CART Series on your first try if you're slow.  I actually expected to learn from him. He's already brought some good ideas to the team even before he got in the car. Just from what I see from the data he has a very similar style to me. The way he brakes and everything. That should be good as far as our setups." 

With the aim to get comfortable in the car, The CART, F1 and NASCAR race winner impressed Penske Racing president Tim Cindric immediately.

"He was within a few tenths of Will in the first outing," he said. "It was pretty impressive, really. We put him out on old tires just to learn where the gear shifts were and then put him back on Will's tire and he was within a couple tenths right out of the box. Right now it's happening pretty fast, he's probably a half a second off the guys who were here last week, but that's not too bad. Finding the last half second without losing his confidence will be the challenge."

Despite his strong showing, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner admitted that there was still work to do.

"We're miles away from where I think I need to be, but second and third run it was going through the gears, through the motions. It's just so different. It's going to take a little bit of time."

"The biggest thing is that everything is still happening really fast" Montoya explained. "It's OK, but as it happens so fast you end up making mistakes. With more time in the car, everything will slow down and it will be easier. It's happened to me before a few times, so I know that with time everything will be easier."

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