Jones enjoys promising opening IndyCar test


Ed Jones completed 175 laps of the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

Ed Jones completed his first official test as a Verizon IndyCar Series driver, with the 2016 Indy Lights champion completing 175 laps across the two days at the Phoenix International Raceway and finishing nineteenth fastest overall.

The Dubai-born Dale Coyne Racing driver used the test to acclimatise himself to running on the one-mile oval, with IndyCar set to race there at the end of April, and he managed to set a best lap of 188.292mph   during Saturday’s third session, compared to his experience team-mate Sebastien Bourdais’ 190.399mph.

“Overall it’s been a good couple of days,” said Jones. “The first session yesterday went really well but I struggled a little bit more in the night session when we were simulating race running. It was my first time running like that so it was a lot to take in.

“We were also practicing pit stops without laps and in laps. We knew it was going to be hard but I guess that it’s just part of the learning process and I’ll be better next time.”

Jones admitted that he was taking time to get used to the car and the track, and as a result did not go for a low downforce set-up on either day, whereas many ahead of him did.

“I feel comfortable in the car,” added Jones. “I also think a lot of the guys went on low trim runs as well so that’s why they did so many quick times. We left it on high downforce the whole time making it hard to compare.

“I have some catching up to do on that side because I haven’t had that experience before but it’s all part of the learning curve.”