IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-01-25

INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- Jan. 25, 2007 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. IndyCar Series schedules three in-season tests 2. Prendeville joins Andersen Racing 1. IndyCar Series schedules three in-season tests:...

INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- Jan. 25, 2007

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. IndyCar Series schedules three in-season tests
2. Prendeville joins Andersen Racing

1. IndyCar Series schedules three in-season tests: IndyCar Series teams will have the opportunity to test at two of the three new venues on the schedule as part of the 2007 testing schedule. In addition to the previously announced preseason Open Tests -- the first-ever visit to Daytona International Speedway (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) and testing under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Feb. 21-22) -- the series will conduct one-day Open Tests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 5 and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 13 and a half-day Open Test at Iowa Speedway on June 22.

"Open Testing has been part of the IndyCar Series since its inception and has proven to be a tremendous value to our teams and drivers, especially when it comes to new venues," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. "These tests continue the league's goal of containing the costs associated with running in our series while allowing our teams and manufacturers the chance to acclimate to new facilities and provide the best racing possible."

The current testing policy was introduced prior to the 2004 season to ensure that each IndyCar Series team has an equal opportunity to test during the year, while cutting down the costs incurred. Additional testing days can be earned by IndyCar Series teams that participate in each IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series race. Full-time IndyCar Series entrants that also field full-time entries in the Indy Pro Series can earn up to five additional testing days. The bonus testing days will be awarded following participation in designated races during the 2007 Indy Pro Series season and must be shared by a team's IndyCar Series driver and an Indy Pro Series driver. The tests must be used by Dec. 31, 2007 and can be conducted at any IRL-approved venue except the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Bonus tests will be awarded as follows: By Participating in these Indy Pro Series events: Teams earn:
Homestead, St. Petersburg 1 and 2 1 Test Day
Indianapolis (oval), Milwaukee, Indianapolis (road course 1) 1 Test Day
Indianapolis (road course 2), Iowa, Watkins Glen 1 Test Day
Nashville, Mid-Ohio, Kentucky 1 Test Day @Infineon 1 and 2, Chicagoland 1 Test Day

"As we saw in 2006 with Andretti Green Racing, the bonus testing program benefits the IndyCar Series team and the team's Indy Pro Series driver," Barnhart said. "The Indy Pro Series driver gets the opportunity to gain valuable seat time in an IndyCar Series car while the team gets additional feedback, which it can use to its advantage."

2. Prendeville joins Andersen Racing: Andrew Prendeville will be one of Andersen Racing's two full-season drivers in the team's first season of Indy Pro Series competition, team owner Dan Andersen announced. Prendeville, of Morristown, N.J., has worked with Andersen Racing in the past. He finished second in the 2004 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec national championship, contributing to the team winning the championship with seven victories and 15 podium finishes. Prendeville, 25, also won the 2002 SCCA Formula Continental national championship. On Jan. 24, he drove an Indy Pro Series car for the first time, passing his rookie test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The season opener is March 24 on the track's 1.5-mile, high-banked oval.

"We're very pleased to be working with Andrew again, as we think he's not only a quality driver, but also a quality person," Dan Andersen said. "We haven't forgotten the maturity he showed when he finished second in the F2000 series in 2004. His car suffered a bent suspension piece in the season finale. He ended up just 16 points shy of Bobby Wilson in the driver point standings that year, through no fault of his own, but he took it like a champion."

Wilson went on to win the race that day at Road America, while Wade Cunningham, the 2005 Indy Pro Series champion, finished second. "Andrew is excited about getting in the car and racing against some of the drivers he competed with in F2000, like Bobby Wilson and Chris Festa," John Andersen said. "It will be especially exciting for everyone in the Northeast, because he's a Jersey boy." "Bobby beat me for that championship in 2004, so running against him again will give me high motivation," Prendeville said. "But the challenges are the same no matter who shows up at a race. You have to try to beat them all. "I'm looking forward to having a full-season ride, and being back running in a championship. I had two years off, and I'm really looking forward to just the overall competition."

Prendeville also is looking forward to the series' three races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It will be a dream come true to get the chance to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," he said. "I've been to four or five Indy 500s, and before that I watched them on TV. It's always been a dream of mine to run at the Speedway." The team plans to announce the name of another full-season Indy Pro Series driver for 2007 shortly.

***

The 2007 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 24. The race will be telecast live by ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (EST) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition begins with the Homestead-Miami 100 on March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast on at 5 p.m. (EST) on March 28 by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Chris Festa , Bobby Wilson , Brian Barnhart