IRL: Jimmy Vasser Turns First Laps in Indy Racing Car at Vegas Test

LAS VEGAS, Wednesday, March 29, 2000 -- Jimmy Vasser turned his first laps in a Indy Racing Northern Light Series car today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as Target/Chip Ganassi Racing prepares for the 84th Indianapolis 500. Vasser ...

LAS VEGAS, Wednesday, March 29, 2000 -- Jimmy Vasser turned his first laps in a Indy Racing Northern Light Series car today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as Target/Chip Ganassi Racing prepares for the 84th Indianapolis 500. Vasser turned less than 10 laps this morning on the 1.5-mile oval in the team's G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone before stopping due to a fuel-pressure problem. Vasser and teammate Juan Montoya will attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in May as Target/Chip Ganassi Racing is the only full-time CART team to have entered the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" so far this year. Montoya is not expected to start testing his new Indy Racing ride until Thursday. Also testing today and Thursday at Las Vegas are Indy Racing Northern Light Series standouts Tyce Carlson, Scott Goodyear, Mark Dismore and Scott Sharp. Ganassi Racing already has two G Force chassis, will add another by the Indianapolis 500 Open Test April 7-11 and a fourth in time for Opening Day at the Speedway, May 13. The team has purchased 10 Oldsmobile engines with 90-degree crankshafts, prepared by Comptech Engines. Indy Racing cars are powered by 3.5-liter normally aspirated engines, while smaller, turbocharged engines propel CART cars. Despite the engine differences, Indy Racing and CART cars share plenty of common traits, Vasser said. "There are a lot more similarities between the two cars than differences," Vasser said. "The one difference I do feel is that the power response is not as much (on the Indy Racing car), but I know it has a little more drag and downforce as well. That could have something to do with it. The chassis actually feels fairly similar." Vasser and Montoya plan to participate in the Indianapolis 500 Open Test April 7-11. The two-day test session at Las Vegas will help Ganassi Racing prepare for the Open Test and the race in May. "We're just running a few laps, trying to get some color in the exhaust pipes, you know, get familiar with the car," Vasser said. "Then, we'll go home and sort things out. We just want to familiarize ourselves with the car and get some air-free miles on it. "It's good that little things like this (fuel pressure problem) are happening to the car, so we can put our own little reliability things to it to make sure we're ready to go for the 500."

-IRL/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear , Jimmy Vasser , Tyce Carlson , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing