IPS: IRL: Wood, Wieringa pass rookie test

Infiniti Pro Series veteran Wood passes IRL rookie test. Young open-wheel driver Wieringa also completes speed phase at Las Vegas. LAS VEGAS, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002 -- Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series veteran Tom Wood and young open-wheel...

Infiniti Pro Series veteran Wood passes IRL rookie test.

Young open-wheel driver Wieringa also completes speed phase at Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002 -- Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series veteran Tom Wood and young open-wheel driver Dave Wieringa passed the speed phases of the Indy Racing League rookie test Nov. 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Mark Bridges, technical manager for the Indy Racing League, supervised the test.

"Tom Wood felt pretty comfortable in the car," Bridges said. "He's got a good feel for what the car does. Dave was good and smooth, as well. Like most drivers taking their rookie test, both just need to gain more experience with the IRL cars and get more laps."

Wood, 45, from Calgary, Alberta, competed in three Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series events in 2002 with a best finish of third at Chicagoland Speedway. At Las Vegas, he completed 70 laps with a top speed of 210.1 mph.

"The experience was great," Wood said. "The car was perfect.

"Driving the Infiniti Pro Series car made it easier to drive the IRL car. The Infiniti Pro Series car is a perfect transition to the IRL car. Running the Infiniti Pro Series made it a lot easier than I thought it would be to pass the Indy Racing League rookie test. Like everyone, I want to run the Indy 500."

Wieringa, 22, from Oak Brook, Ill., raced in Toyota Atlantic in 2002 after two seasons in Skip Barber Formula Dodge competition. He completed 109 laps during the rookie test with a top speed of 206.7 mph.

"The car exceeded my expectations," Wieringa said. "After a while, you don't even realize the speed. This is the best time I've ever had."

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS