Mike Conway Is Third Fastest Among Honda Drivers; Eighth Overall
SEBRING, FL March 9, 2012—Mike Conway wrapped up his second day of testing in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda/Dallara at Sebring International Raceway Friday.
“We struggled all day to find speed,” Conway said. “We need to go quicker because 4 tenths is massive around here. We learned some things but we have more work to do. We just have to keep working at it.”
Conway’s disappointment in Friday’s sessions is indicative of his competitive fire. Despite being four-tenths of a second off Scott Dixon’s time of 51.79 seconds (the only sub-51 second time), Conway was fourth in the afternoon session. His 52.2243 was one ten-thousandth of a second behind Chevrolet's Rubens Barrichello’s 52.2242 seconds, and 2 tenths behind Dario Franchitti’s 52.0157 clocking.
The team lost much time in Friday's quicker morning session as they had to deal with several new car/new engine issues, however the issues were resolved. Additionally, they explored a different setup from Thursday but it did not produce the quicker times they were expecting. However, that segment of testing also helped them rule out certain approaches.
Overall, Conway was eighth quickest of the 27 drivers who tested at the track. He was the third fastest Honda-powered driver behind Dixon and Franchitti.
The Open Test also provided the teams (including the Foyt team) the opportunity to practice pit stops so they could adjust to fueling the new car as well as changing tires with the new bodywork now in proximity to the wheels.
The Foyt team will test again on Wednesday, March 14th at MSR Houston, their final test before the race season opens March 25th. Conway and Team Director Larry Foyt have to cut short their stay in Puerto Rico where they will be attending ABC Supply’s 30th Anniversary national meeting and celebration.
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be televised live on ABC-TV starting at 12:30pm Eastern on Sunday, March 25th.