MIAMI, FL (2/17/03) - Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske and Michael Andretti of Andretti-Green Racing were fastest in day one of the IRL IndyCar Series Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Thirteen of the 19 IndyCar ...
MIAMI, FL (2/17/03) - Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske and Michael Andretti of Andretti-Green Racing were fastest in day one of the IRL IndyCar Series Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Thirteen of the 19 IndyCar Series drivers posted speeds in excess of 200 miles-per-hour Monday as they prepared for the Toyota Indy 300, the IndyCar Series season-opener set for February 28 - March 2.
De Ferran, a resident of Ft. Lauderdale, FL originally from Brazil, led all drivers with a speed of 205.761 miles-per-hour and was for the most part pleased with his day at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"It was a good day for us," said de Ferran. "Unfortunately, it rained a little, but as it turned out, that didn't affect things very much. We had the opportunity to work on both the race setup and the qualifying setup. Even though we're fast, I'm still not 100 percent happy yet. We can still improve the car in both qualifying and race configurations. It's nice to see that we have the speed. I am happy about that."
Fellow Brazilian Castoneves, de Ferran's teammate at Marlboro Team Penske and a resident of Miami, was second-fastest with a speed of 205.307 MPH
"It has been good," said Castroneves. "We actually went faster than the last time we were here. So that is pretty good, I guess. More cars on the track helps a lot. I'm not quite as comfortable as my teammate, I think. I'm going to come here March 2 and kick everybody's butt, hopefully."
Andretti, who recently announced his retirement as a driver and will make the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway the first of the final four races of his career, was third fastest (204.847 MPH) on Monday.
"I think if we get the balance right, there's still more to come," said Andretti. "We're pretty happy with the way the test has gone so far. We just adjusting, and we're always experimenting and trying to find out what works and what doesn't."
The IndyCar Series Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway concludes on Tuesday. The Open Test will run from 9 am - 4:30 pm and is free and open to the public.
For more information or for tickets to the Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, call (305) 230-RACE, visiting TicketMaster, or logging on www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
Open Test Results - February 17, 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Driver, Speed (MPH)
1. Gil de Ferran, 205.761
2. Helio Castroneves, 205.307
3. Michael Andretti, 204.847
4. Roger Yasukawa, 203.652
5. Scott Dixon, 202.996
6. Tony Kanaan, 202.710
7. Scott Sharp, 202.617
8. Sam Hornish Jr., 202.604
9. Dario Franchitti, 202.553
10. Kenny Brack, 202.079
11. Tora Takagi, 201.097
12. Felipe Giaffone, 200.997
13. Buddy Rice, 200.500
14. Sarah Fisher, 197.765
15. Tomas Scheckter, 197.532
16. Robbie Buhl, 197.157
17. Jaques Lazier, 196.922
18. AJ Foyt IV, 195.764
19. Al Unser Jr., 195.739