Allmendinger off the pace in first IndyCar test image

AJ Allmendinger has driven an open wheel race car at Sebring International Raceway this week for the first time since 2006.

During IndyCar’s first pre-season test session, the former NASCAR driver drove Penske Racing’s #2 car and was not as fast as the front-runners. He was 12th fastest on unofficial timing, 0.7 seconds slower than the quickest driver. He admitted that he still has work to do to readapt to the requirements of a single seater after six years in NASCAR.

“My heart was beating fast and the first couple of runs the car was definitely driving me. It slowly has come back to me. Everything feels real fast,” Allmendinger was quoted as saying by

Penske Racing’s confirmed drivers, Will Power and Helio Castroneves, also tested at the Florida track, as well as Allmendinger’s Ganassi team mates Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Charlie Kimball. There were also seven other of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series drivers.

“Will and Helio have welcomed me into their race team with open arms and I’m definitely happy to be here. It was an honour to meet the person I was named after, one of the greatest drivers of all time,” said Allmendinger about meeting IndyCar legend AJ Foyt at the track for the first time.