IRL: Franchitti leads Mid-Ohio Wednesday test

Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti led the way at today's (June 13th) IndyCar Series Open Test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course outside Lexington, Ohio. Franchitti, returning to a circuit where technical skill is paramount, sped over the ...

Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti led the way at today's (June 13th) IndyCar Series Open Test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course outside Lexington, Ohio.

Franchitti, returning to a circuit where technical skill is paramount, sped over the winding 2.3 mile track at a best speed of 120.130 mile per hour during the last hour of the day-long practice.

"The new surface was a worry coming into this test, because I hadn't driven here," he said afterwards, "but it was no problem at all. It's just smoother, with good grip levels, so that was really nice."

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves was second-quick with a speed of 119.952 mph and Franchitti's AGR teammate Marco Andretti recorded a best lap at 119.951 mph to complete the top three.

Rahal/Letterman Racing driver Buddy Rice looked strong on his way to the fourth-best time of the day, with Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon immediately in tow. Both finished with laps above the 119 mark at day's end.

Several drivers made off-course excursions during the day as the fourteen-turn, undulating course in north-central Ohio warmed up ahead of next month's July 20th-22nd date with the Indy Racing League.

Sam Hornish, Jr turned in some of the raciest laps of the day in the morning session, at one time holding down fourth best position, and ended the day with a lap of 118.888 mph for sixth despite exploring the track's perimeter at speed.

AGR's Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick were well-satisfied with their speeds of 118.518 mph and 118.169 mph respectively; just ahead of Dan Wheldon (117.990 mph) and AJ Foyt Racing's Darren Manning (117.943 mph)

The IndyCar Series returns to Mid-Ohio, along with its Indy Pro Series racers, for a two hundred mile contest in five weeks and at a point in the season when championship hopes will bear fruit or be dissolved.

It's the first time ever the Indy Racing League has competed officially on the track, although Franchitti (a two-time pole-winner here in CART) and Castroneves (a two-time race winner) are completely familiar with the facility.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing