Sebring, FL – When Alex Tagliani hit the track on Thursday at Sebring International Raceway, the goal was to further develop the Barracuda DW12 for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
By the mid-day break, the No. 98, Honda-powered Dallara DW12 had turned 51 laps, allowing the team to evaluate a variety of setup options for the upcoming season.
During the afternoon session, Tagliani drove an additional 20 laps. He recorded a 52.91 as his best time of the day, in what he considered a successful, problem-free development day with engineer Todd Malloy.
“Today was the perfect opportunity for Todd and I to experiment,” said Tagliani. “Honestly, it was like two kids given a massive bag of candy. I could see Todd in his element, trying and understanding things. The Barracuda Racing crew did a great job too with the very big list of changes we experimented with.
“Looking back, we were under pressure on race weekends to get it right in a short amount of time. But our goal today was to increase our toolbox so that when it comes time to go racing, we have things in our arsenal to fix whatever the car does on track. We now have lots of tools and plenty of data to look at. It feels like a whole new ball game. We’re definitely going to be stronger in 2013.”
The 2012 season showcased some of Barracuda Racing’s potential, with a pole at Texas, four consecutive Firestone Fast Six qualifications, leading in five races including 49 laps at Edmonton, and coming extremely close to a win at the season finale in Fontana.
Tagliani and the crew are eager to build on what they started, and Thursday’s test was a solid step towards that goal. With less than 100 days until the 2013 season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg.