IRL: AGR's Wheldon, Kanaan Richmond test report

Wheldon, Kanaan experience abbreviated test day at Richmond. RICHMOND, Va.,(May 29, 2003) -- A pair of Andretti Green Racing drivers attempted to put their respective IRL IndyCar Series machines through a string of testing runs today at Richmond...

Wheldon, Kanaan experience abbreviated test day at Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va.,(May 29, 2003) -- A pair of Andretti Green Racing drivers attempted to put their respective IRL IndyCar Series machines through a string of testing runs today at Richmond International Raceway as part of the IRL Open Test session, but both drivers had their days cut short.

Dan Wheldon, who drives the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry, turned just six laps this morning before a mechanical failure sent him into the outside retaining wall in turn two on the three-quarter mile Richmond tri-oval. Wheldon was uninjured in the incident. However, his car sustained more damage than could be repaired at the track, thus ending his testing opportunity in preparation for the June 28th event.

"I'm not exactly sure what happened," Wheldon said. We just had a small failure and unfortunately on these ovals when you have a slight failure, it takes you in the wall. I don't know exactly what happened -- just that the left front collapsed. Just coming out of (turn) two, the front left just dropped -- the suspension just dropped -- and it pushed me into the wall."

Tony Kanaan, who currently sits atop the series point standings, turned only 15 laps in his #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone ride before rain halted his test day at approximately 11:10 a.m. (EDT). Weather conditions prohibited any further testing for Kanaan on Thursday.

"We started around 11 a.m., so I only did 15 laps," said Kanaan. "This track, it's really nice to be here. It reminds me of my go-kart times -- so short and you have the possibility to drive a little bit sideways, which we don't get to do with these cars very often with the ovals. I'm having a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the rain came and really kept us behind, but it's the same for everybody. I would like to have more laps, because I have no experience, but at least I have a good feeling for it right now."

Team manager Tony Cotman, who was on site to help oversee the test for both drivers, indicated that Kanaan's testing program will resume when the track opens on Friday.

"Today was one of those days," said Cotman. "It's too bad Dan had the problem he did, but it's better now than on race weekend. Hopefully, the weather will clear out enough to get Tony some more track time tomorrow and give us a good starting point for when we return late next month."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam