From IndyCar

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) – Even a spin and trip through the gravel couldn’t slow down Helio Castroneves.

The Team Penske driver bettered his best lap time by more than a half-second in the final session to top the two-day IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park course.

Castroneves’ best lap (his 48th of 52) of 1 minute, 11.943 seconds in the No. 3 Team Penske car was the quickest of the 24 cars to participate in the lone Open Test before the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg next week.

Will Power, who led Day 1 of the test, was second-quickest with a lap of 1:11.9636 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car during the first of the day’s two practice sessions. Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe and Newman/Haas Racing’s Oriol Servia rounded out the top five.

The IZOD IndyCar Series will open the 2011 season on March 27 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The series returns to Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 11.