IRL: Giaffone continues Homestead testing

MIAMI (January 20, 2001) -- While George W. Bush was being sworn in as 43rd President of the United States, young Brazilian Felipe Giaffone joined the ranks of Indy Racing League drivers. Giaffone passed his IRL rookie test Saturday at ...

MIAMI (January 20, 2001) -- While George W. Bush was being sworn in as 43rd President of the United States, young Brazilian Felipe Giaffone joined the ranks of Indy Racing League drivers. Giaffone passed his IRL rookie test Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, testing for Treadway-Hubbard Racing in preparation for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami.

Sunday, the rookie got in a full day of testing, running a fast lap of 197.368 mph on the 1.5-mile oval. This was the first Indy Racing rookie test to be conducted at Homestead. By passing the test, Giaffone is cleared to run the full Indy Racing Northern Lights Series schedule, with major sponsorship from Hollywood brand cigarettes.

Giaffone, 26, managed to run more than 100 miles before rain began to fall on Saturday, ending the four-part test. Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart and Director of Operations John Lewis supervised the session, with fellow Treadway-Hubbard driver Davey Hamilton also observing.

"Felipe was all business," said Barnhart. "He knew what he had to do. It was obvious right away that he was comfortable in the car. Though rain shortened the test, Felipe impressed us all."

Giaffone was driving the team's G Force Oldsmobile, the first G Force to be equipped with the new 2001 update kit.

Tickets are now on sale for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami, the debut of Indy Racing in South Florida, by calling (305) 230-RACE, or may be ordered on-line at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Unofficial testing continues Tuesday, with defending Indy Racing champion Buddy Lazier making his first Miami appearance for Hemelgarn Racing. Official practice for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami begins on Friday, April 6, with qualifying on Saturday, April 7.

For additional information, visit the official web site, www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Buddy Lazier will be testing from Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 23-25.

-J.J O'Malley

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Buddy Lazier , Brian Barnhart