Rosenqvist fastest in opening day of Homestead IndyCar test

New Meyer Shank Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist was fastest among the 10 teams and 10 drivers who took part in the first of three days of testing at the Homestead-Miami roval in Florida. The Swede turned a best unofficial lap of 1m11.244s in the No. 66 Honda, and had countryman Marcus Ericsson of Andretti Global close behind at a 1m11.446s in the No. 98 Honda.

Reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou was third for Chip Ganassi Racing in the No. 10 Honda (1m11.529s), and in fourth, Arrow McLaren newcomer David Malukas was the first Bowtie representative in the No. 5 Chevy (1m11.757s). Behind him it was Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino in fifth with the No. 78 Chevy (1m12.249s) and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay in sixth with the No. 21 Chevy (1m12.342s).

Graham Rahal was seventh in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda (1m12.486s), Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was eighth in the No. 12 Chevy (1m12.587s), Dale Coyne Racing tester Jack Harvey was ninth in the No. 18 Honda (1m13.895s), and A.J. Foyt Racing’s Sting Ray Robb rounded out the top 10 in the No. 41 Chevy (1m14.632s).


“It was a super smooth day for our first day running together,” Rosenqvist told RACER. “It’s a smaller team than I’m used to, but I quite like that about the team. Everybody is really happy to be working together with each other, and it’s already a cohesive group. And I really liked the car. Like, that’s the thing that’s on your mind the whole time when you’re changing teams; what’s the car going to be like, and will it be something I can work with easily? That was probably the best part of the day. The car was obviously quick, but it was a pleasure to drive.”

With teams limited to three sets of new tires per day and Homestead-Miami’s reputation for creating some of the highest tire degradation, teams were limited in how often they could run — and how many laps they could turn — before losing a lot of grip.

“It’s something everybody has to deal with here, but yeah, it means you get a couple of laps if you push hard and then the peak comes off pretty quickly,” Rosenqvist said. “We’re going pretty fast around here, and the tires get consumed fast as well. You just have to plan your day and what you’re trying to do around it.”

Due to limited supplies of the new-for-2024 lightweight chassis components, IndyCar instructed each of its full-time teams to bring one car to Homestead-Miami while the other cars in each team’s stable is updated to the current specification in the coming weeks.

As a result, the 10 teams have brought a single chassis to Florida to cycle its chosen drivers through the car over the three days, which explains why Penske’s Newgarden, for example, was in Will Power’s No. 12 Chevy on Monday, and will step out and hand over testing duties to his teammates for the remaining days of the outing. Palou’s No. 10 Ganassi Honda will have Scott Dixon and Linus Lundqvist on board this week, and the other teams are following a similar rotational practice as well.

Story originally appeared on Racer