Ed Carpenter Racing tested Tuesday on a road course for the first time in 2017, as teammates JR Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot completed a one-day session at Sonoma Raceway, home to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma that will conclude the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season in September.
It marked Pigot's first time in an Indy car this year. The 23-year-old Floridian is driving ECR's No.20 Chevrolet at road- and street-course events this season, with team owner Ed Carpenter in the car for the six oval races. Hildebrand is driving the entire season in the No.21 Chevy and tested Feb. 10-11 on the oval at Phoenix Raceway.
The Sonoma test also served as a homecoming for Hildebrand, a native of Sausalito, California, who got his start at Sonoma Raceway driving karts and formula cars before making the jump to professional racing in 2010.
"It feels great to be here. I grew up racing here, grew up watching races here and went through the whole system; pretty much everything I've ever raced, I've raced here at some point," said Hildebrand, who has a best finish of eighth in four Verizon IndyCar Series starts at Sonoma Raceway. "This is our first road course test of the season, so it's a nice familiar place for us to be doing that, and it's one of the most difficult tracks on our schedule so it's a great place for us to be collecting a bit of data."
Pigot returns for his sophomore Verizon IndyCar Series season. After winning the 2015 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship, Pigot drove in three Verizon IndyCar Series races for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last year before joining ECR for eight road/street races.
"It's been a while since we were here and it's been since September since I drove the car, so I'm excited to be back in an Indy car and so far, so good," said Pigot. "We had a really productive morning, and we've been sticking to our test plan, which we spent a lot of time going over before we got here in order to maximize our day."
The Verizon IndyCar Series kicks off its 17-race season with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March. 12 (noon ET, ABC and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network). The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma concludes the season on Sept. 17 (6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network). For tickets to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, call (800) 870-7223 or visit www.SonomaRaceway.com.
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