Andretti Quickly Up to Speed in Camping World Dallara; Meira, Matsuura Work on Race Setup INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- (May 17, 2007) - Panther Racing driver John Andretti made his debut in the No. 33 Camping World Panther Dallara Honda on Thursday ...
Andretti Quickly Up to Speed in Camping World Dallara; Meira, Matsuura Work on Race Setup
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- (May 17, 2007) - Panther Racing driver John Andretti made his debut in the No. 33 Camping World Panther Dallara Honda on Thursday during practice for the 91st Running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti was quickly up to speed in his yellow Panther car and spent the better part of the afternoon getting reacquainted with being in an Indy-car for the first time in over ten years.
Andretti had to re-adjust himself from running the same line as he did in a NASCAR stock car, as he dipped the left-side wheels of the No. 33 below the white line on his first couple laps. John received help from Panther team owner John Barnes and cousin Michael Andretti, who stuck his head in the cockpit to help out Panther's newest driver after his first run.
"It was OK for stock cars," Andretti joked about his unconventional line around the Speedway's 2.5-mile oval. "Michael came running down saying I can't drive down there. Sometimes that's the good part of not knowing any better."
Below are practices times and quotes from Panther's drivers:
John Andretti #33 Camping World Panther Racing
"Coming back to Indianapolis is great and I've been humbled by the reception I have received. Today was productive, but I figure tomorrow will be a good day. I feel lucky to have two teammates that are so open and helpful. Today was more of a refresher. We stopped because the conditions were getting worse and we still have a couple days. We still need to get some more laps and start to trim out the Camping World car some more. I like the progress. I'm not letting the car drive me, I'm driving the car now."
Vitor Meira #4 Delphi Panther Racing
"Today was mainly a shakedown of the Delphi car for us. We're ready for tomorrow, and that's when we're really going to put in a lot of miles. The race preparation starts of us then. I'm excited about the next few days and getting ready for the 500. Race day is getting close."
Kosuke Matsuura @#55 Panasonic Panther Racing
"I only did 8 laps today but we tried new damper and the car felt good. It was very cold and windy so we only checked few things and decided to get ready for tomorrow. I am happy with the car so we will check more details tomorrow and prepare for the race. Tomorrow is very important practice day for me, I am looking forward to tomorrow."