IPS: IRL: Homestead, Daytona preseason test dates announced

INDYCAR SERIES TO VISIT DAYTONA, MIAMI FOR 2007 PRESEASON TESTING INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 10, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series will try something new while continuing with tradition in its 2007 preseason testing. League officials announced...

INDYCAR SERIES TO VISIT DAYTONA, MIAMI FOR 2007 PRESEASON TESTING

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 10, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series will try something new while continuing with tradition in its 2007 preseason testing.

League officials announced today that the IndyCar Series will conduct preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2007 and at Homestead-Miami Speedway Feb. 21-22. The series will test at Daytona for the first time while the seventh preseason visit to Homestead will include testing under the lights for the first time.

"Expanding our preseason testing schedule to include Daytona International Speedway is good for both fans and teams," said John Lewis, vice president of league development for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series and the Indy Pro Series. "The feedback coming out of the test from our drivers and teams, Firestone, Honda and Ethanol was very positive and supportive of the IndyCar Series pursuing Daytona as a test venue."

In late September, the IndyCar Series completed a successful compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway, featuring past series champions Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, '02, '06), Scott Dixon ('03), Tony Kanaan ('04) and Dan Wheldon ('05) and Vitor Meira. The visit allowed IndyCar Series officials to determine the possibility of DIS serving as a preseason testing venue. Series officials were able to see transitions onto the banking, tire wear/side loads and braking zones while looking for any challenging surface areas on the track. The test took place on the 2.73-mile road course, which included 10 turns and the tri-oval of the famed Daytona oval.

The September test also was the first time IndyCar Series cars used the 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol that will power the field in 2007. The preseason test at Daytona will mark the first time that all cars will run with the new fuel mixture.

"We are very excited to be able to host preseason testing for the IndyCar Series here at Daytona," said Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig. "Bringing another motorsports sanctioning body to Daytona further solidifies us as the World Center of Racing.' We look forward to welcoming the stars and fans of the IndyCar Series."

The IndyCar Series will continue to test at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a new wrinkle -- an afternoon/evening schedule (4-10 p.m.) -- on the 1.5-mile oval. Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway also will include the Indy Pro Series, which will use the venue for both road course (Feb. 20) and oval (Feb. 22) testing.

Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the IndyCar Series' season-opening race for the sixth consecutive season -- a 300-mile primetime event on March 24. Four of the last six IndyCar Series champions (Hornish '01 & '02, Dixon '03 and Wheldon '05) won at Homestead-Miami Speedway in their championship-winning seasons.

"Enhancing the Homestead-Miami Speedway experience to include testing under the lights makes perfect sense as we become the only open-wheel series to open its season in prime time," Lewis said. "The IndyCar Series was the first series of its kind to race at night at Texas, and now we are advancing that to include the season opener."

"We look forward to the IndyCar Series test being held at night and giving race fans a sneak peak of what they can expect at the season-opener when they can witness the spectacle of watching these cars race at 200 miles per hour under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway," said Homestead-Miami Speedway president Curtis Gray. "South Florida is famous for its fast-paced nightlife, so it was only fitting for the Speedway to host this event and the season-opener under the lights for the first time. We encourage everyone to order their tickets early and guarantee their spot to kick off the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway."

<pre> The tentative schedule for both preseason tests:

Daytona International Speedway Jan. 31 IndyCar Series Testing (10 a.m.-Noon; 1-5 p.m.) Feb. 1 IndyCar Series Testing (10 a.m.-Noon; 1-5 p.m.)

Homestead-Miami Speedway Feb. 20 Indy Pro Series Road-Course Testing (10 a.m.-Noon; 1-5 p.m.) Feb. 21 IndyCar Series Oval Testing (4 p.m.-10 p.m.) Feb. 22 Indy Pro Series Oval Testing (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) Feb. 22 IndyCar Series Oval Testing (4 p.m.-10 p.m.)

The complete in-season Open Test schedule will be announced in the future.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , John Lewis , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira