POST TEST NOTES: IndyCar Series Testing By The Numbers: Test session results are difficult to interpret, as teams and drivers concentrate on different aspects of performance besides pure speed. Some teams work on aerodynamics. Some focus on...
POST TEST NOTES:
IndyCar Series Testing By The Numbers: Test session results are difficult to interpret, as teams and drivers concentrate on different aspects of performance besides pure speed.
Some teams work on aerodynamics. Some focus on race setups and make long runs using full fuel tanks, which in turn, slow the car.
But analyzing the time sheets, Helio Castroneves was the top overall driver during five days of IRL IndyCar® Series preseason testing, Jan. 24-25 at the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway, March 2 and 3 on the 2.21-mile road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway and March 5 on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval.
Castroneves was one of five drivers who were ranked among the top seven drivers on each of the testing days. The other drivers represent the last five IndyCar Series champions -- Sam Hornish Jr., Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon.
"Target Chip Ganassi Racing has won championships, and they've won all the big races. They should be proud to be on top (of the speed charts)," said Wheldon, who like Castroneves led the time sheets twice. "Yeah, you feel good, but it's just a test. It means nothing, really. We need to make sure we've got a good car for the race. We need to work hard on doing that in the next few weeks."
Rankings were determined by adding each driver's position on the final speed chart each day. The driver with the lowest score prevails, though it may not be the most accurate indicator of performance.
Wheldon dominated testing and continued his top form throughout the 2005 season, while his new teammate, Dixon, was the most consistent driver in testing in 2004, and was never a factor in the championship. In contrast, Buddy Rice had a breakout season in 2004, but didn't crack the top-10.
<pre> The top 10 for 2006:
Phoenix (Oval) - 1/24 Phoenix (Oval) - 1/25 Homestead Miami (Road) - 3/2 Homestead Miami (Road) - 3/3 Homestead Miami (Oval) - 3/5
Overall Pos. Driver 1/24 1/25 3/2 3/3 3/5 1 Helio Castroneves 2 3 1 1 4 2 Scott Dixon 7 2 3 2 2 3 Sam Hornish Jr. 5 4 2 3 3 4 Dan Wheldon 6 1 4 6 1 5 Tony Kanaan 1 6 6 7 5 6 Dario Franchitti 4 11 7 5 8 7 Bryan Herta 3 5 10 8 15 8 Buddy Rice 8 12 9 9 7 9 Scott Sharp 10 9 11 4 12 10 Ed Carpenter 12 8 16 14 6 (tie) Kosuke Matsuura 11 10 8 13 14
The IRL IndyCar Series opens the 2006 season with the Toyota Indy 300 at 3:30 p.m. (EST) on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The IMS Radio Network broadcast is also carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition opens with the Miami 100 at 12:30 p.m. on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast at 1 p.m. on March 31 by ESPN2.