Honda Drivers Continue to Lead IRL Pre-Season Tests Honda-powered drivers swept the top six positions in the first pre-season oval track IndyCar Series test of 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The one-day run on the 1.5-mile Homestead...
Honda Drivers Continue to Lead IRL Pre-Season Tests
Honda-powered drivers swept the top six positions in the first pre-season oval track IndyCar Series test of 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The one-day run on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval followed two days of testing on the speedway's 2.31-mile road course, where Honda drivers also took the top two positions, and posted four of the top six times.
Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice led the speed charts virtually throughout the day for Honda and Rahal Letterman Racing, followed by Scott Sharp, making his on-track debut for Delphi Fernandez Racing. Championship runner-up in 2004, Dan Wheldon posted the third-fastest speed of the day, followed by 2004 rookie champion Kosuke Matsuura and 2005 rookie challenger Danica Patrick. Defending series champion Tony Kanaan rounded out the top six.
The final pre-season open test for the IRL takes place next month at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. The 17-race IndyCar season starts March 6 on the Homestead oval, with the first street-circuit event in series history taking place April 3 at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the west coast of Florida.
Buddy Rice (#15 Argent/Pioneer Rahal Letterman Racing Honda): Fastest in road course practice: "We did our best time right after lunch, when the conditions are at their best, and led the time sheets all day. So we're pretty happy with where we're at on our oval set-up! The road course stuff is a big learning process for everyone, including us, but we made a lot of progress there as well, and worked our way all the way through our list of things to test. I think we're pretty much ready for the season to start right now."