IRL: Buddy Lazier reaches 225 mph testing at California

FONTANA, Calif., Friday, Dec. 21, 2001 - Buddy Lazier showed off the speed and durability of the new Chevy Indy V8 engine during a two-day test this week at California Speedway, turning consistent laps of 223 mph and topping out at 225.15 ...

FONTANA, Calif., Friday, Dec. 21, 2001 - Buddy Lazier showed off the speed and durability of the new Chevy Indy V8 engine during a two-day test this week at California Speedway, turning consistent laps of 223 mph and topping out at 225.15 mph.

2000 Indy Racing champion Lazier completed 570 trouble-free miles in the two-day test with Hemelgarn Racing at Fontana, Calif. The 2-mile oval will play host to its inaugural Indy Racing event March 24, 2002.

"In my entire racing career, I've never seen a brand-new motor run so well right out of the box," Lazier said. "The Chevy engine exceeded all of my expectations.

"The motor feels lighter and that helps the car handle better, but it's the power that is really impressive. Horsepower is a driver's best friend, so this Chevy engine and I are going to get along just fine."

1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Lazier waited until his 255th lap of the test in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone to produce his best lap, 225.15 mph.

Lazier will return to Fontana to participate in the Indy Racing League's "Test in the West" on Feb. 5-6.

In addition to the extended test at California Speedway, the GM-designed Chevy Indy V8 has successfully completed three 500-mile dynamometer durability runs and a track test at Phoenix International Raceway by 2001 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

"This was a brutal test for the Chevy Indy V8 at California Speedway because the engine ran continuously at wide-open throttle," said Joe Negri, GM Racing IRL/Road Racing Group manager. "That duty cycle simulates the demands the engine will encounter at the Indianapolis 500, and it came through without a problem.

"Now that we have validated the engine's reliability on the dyno and on the track, we will continue to work on developing more horsepower and speed. We are simultaneously producing parts so that other teams can begin testing programs with the Chevrolet engine."

Lazier's Chevy Indy V8 engine was prepared by Speedway Engine Development in Indianapolis, one of the independent engine builders that assemble and test GM engines for Indy Racing League teams.

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