E.J. Viso, Raphael Matos and J.R. Hildebrand got a jump on track time with testing at Sebring International on Feb. 15.
Viso, who competed the past two IZOD IndyCar Series seasons with HVM Racing, tested with KV Racing Technology. Hildebrand, the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion, was testing with Dale Coyne Racing. Matos, the 20009 Apex-Brasil Rookie of the Year, was back in the Luczo Dragon Racing car.
"I've been itching to get back in a car," said Hildebrand, who drove for Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing last season. "I've been talking to Dale (Coyne) the last couple of weeks and he had scheduled this test day, so he invited me to come out. We're still trying to sort things out because the season is coming very quickly, but we are both in that boat. We'll just see how things look in a couple of weeks. Those important decisions have to be made quickly, but from both of our standpoints (the) test day went well.
"Most of the guys here were trying to prepare for street course races. I know, for sure, we weren't tuning to go fast at Sebring. We we're tuning the car to prepare for the bumpy tracks that start the 2010 season. St. Pete is pretty bumpy, and Brazil looks pretty rough from that standpoint. We still had a very good day. We didn't think we would be real competitive from a time standpoint, because as I said, we were working on street course testing packages, but we ended up being right in the quickest windows in terms of time."
Viso ran 103 trouble-free laps in KVRT's first test of 2010. Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama plays host to an Open Test next week.
"KV Racing Technology had a successful test and I am very pleased with the way both the team and E. J. performed," team general manager Mark Johnson said. "The team did a great job preparing the car and it performed flawlessly. The engineering staff had a solid plan and we accomplished everything on our check list. I also want to complement E. J. on the job he did. This was his first test with our team and he was professional and worked well with the engineers and crew. Based on his feedback and the plan the engineers had in place, we were able to collect some valuable data.
"At this point, we will sit down with E. J. and discuss further plans for the 2010 IndyCar Series season. I do anticipate testing him again at the Open Test at Barber next week."
Viso, 24, of Caracas, Venezuela, has posted one top-five finish in 32 races.
"I am very happy with the way the test went with KV Racing Technology," Viso said. "The car was prepared well and we got a lot of work done. This is a very professional team, a great group of engineers and mechanics. I felt very positive and comfortable working with them."