Rubens Barrichello had his first full day as an official IndyCar Series driver and showed again what everyone already knows: The Brazilian is very fast.
Barrichello posted the third-fastest lap of Thursday's afternoon test session at Sebring International Raceway, trailing only series champion Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti in the session.
He consistently tries to keep expectations in check and warns that KV Racing Technology isn't automatically a much stronger team based solely on his arrival. But the former Formula One driver has brought widespread attention to the series, forced longtime friend Tony Kanaan to raise his game, and put the pressure on KV Racing to provide fast race cars.
It comes at a time IndyCar is trying to build momentum and continue its recovery from Dan Wheldon's death in last season's finale.