AJ Foyt Racing Birmingham test preview

Vitor Meira and ABC Supply Team Prepare for First IndyCar Test of 2010 WALLER, TX Feb. 22, 2010--Vitor Meira traveled to the A.J. Foyt Racing team headquarters last week to spend a couple days with the team as they prepared the No. 14 ABC Supply...

Vitor Meira and ABC Supply Team Prepare for First IndyCar Test of 2010

WALLER, TX Feb. 22, 2010--Vitor Meira traveled to the A.J. Foyt Racing team headquarters last week to spend a couple days with the team as they prepared the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda for the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park, outside of Birmingham, Ala.

Meira took the opportunity to get a final fitting of the seat, pedals, steering wheel, mirrors and belts in the race car before it was loaded into the transporter which departs this evening.

"I wanted to touch base with the guys, spend a little time with them as we all get ready for this test," said Meira. "This way we can go to Barber with a clear head knowing everything is ready."

Although he tested his Indy car last September at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this open test will be Meira's first time back on a street/road course since he raced at Long Beach in April, 2009.

"Primarily, my goal for this test is to get reacquainted with everything and everyone," said Meira who has been running shifter karts throughout the off season. "I want to get in as many laps as possible. We have an engineer (Jeff Britton) who is new to the team, but not new to me, and we need this time to work together so we can all learn each other." Britton and Meira worked together at Rahal Letterman Racing in 2005.

"My biggest challenge is to get back to where I was before the accident so I can take 100% advantage of what the car is capable of doing," said Meira, whose injuries sustained in the Indianapolis 500 sidelined him for the remainder of 2009. "The first day we'll get a baseline set-up and then the second day we can explore different set-ups."

Meira tested at Barber Motorsport Park in 2007 when he was with Panther Racing. The IZOD Series will compete there for the first time April 11th.

"From what I remember, the circuit is a lot like the European road courses with high speed corners and elevation changes," Meira said. "It is most like Watkins Glen in that way but it's narrower and doesn't have very long straights. Passing will be a challenge there."

When Meira was in Texas last week, he had an opportunity to race Larry Foyt in the I-Racing video game. "We raced Talladega in an Indy car," said Meira. "I was sharing the car with Larry. I never realized I-Racing was so cool! I'm glad I saw it because it is definitely worth the trouble to buy the equipment you need to get set up properly.

"I will be using it this season for sure," he added, explaining, "We have such limited track time in the actual Indy car so whatever you can do to simulate being on the track is beneficial. The I-Racing game will definitely be a part of my preparation this season." Currently I-Racing features seven IndyCar Series tracks (Indianapolis, Barber, Chicagoland, Homestead, Infineon, Texas, and Watkins Glen) with Mid-Ohio being added soon.

Meira will arrive at the track Tuesday, fresh from an appearance in New Orleans for sponsor ABC Supply. He will participate in the pre-season media shoot as all of the drivers have photos taken and video shot which will be used throughout the season.

Testing at Barber Motorsports Park begins Wednesday at 9 am and will continue through Thursday until 5pm. The IZOD IndyCar Series season kicks off in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil March 14th.

-source: ajf racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira