IRL: Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes 2002-02-20

Pit Notes February 20, 2002 Marlboro Team Penske Wraps Up Four-Day Test In Homestead Marlboro Team Penske was at Homestead-Miami Speedway this past week at a four-day test session to prepare for the season-opening Grand Prix of...

Pit Notes
February 20, 2002

Marlboro Team Penske Wraps Up Four-Day Test In Homestead

Marlboro Team Penske was at Homestead-Miami Speedway this past week at a four-day test session to prepare for the season-opening Grand Prix of Miami, Thursday, February 28- Saturday, March 2. The Team logged a total of 650 miles as they made their final preparations for next weekend's 200-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval in South Florida.

Gil de Ferran tested on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 15 - 17 while teammate Helio Castroneves took over the driving late Sunday afternoon and continued on Monday.

The track conditions on Friday were difficult due to changing winds and Saturday's test was shortened because of rain. The inclement weather caused the Team to keep de Ferran in the car on Sunday and extend the test until Monday. Castroneves was originally scheduled to run Sunday.

Despite the changing conditions, the Team was pleased with the results and recorded lap times well under last year's pole qualifying time. Both de Ferran and Castroneves are getting more comfortable with the new equipment and are ready to start the season.

CASTRONEVES ON TESTING AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

"We had a very productive test over the past few days here at Homestead-Miami Speedway," Castroneves said. "I'm pleased with the results we've had, I'm learning a lot about the new equipment and feeling much more comfortable in the car. We were happy with the results; the car was very consistent and reliable in the two long runs I took. I'm optimistic about the race here next week and I look forward to kicking off the 2002 IRL season in Miami."

CINDRIC ON FINAL RACE PREPARATION

"After completing our final preparation prior to the season-opening Grand Prix of Miami, we're confident that we have two cars that can compete up front provided we execute," said Penske Racing President Tim Cindric. "The Team has done a good job adapting and we are looking forward to meeting the challenge of competing in the Indy Racing League."

DE FERRAN IN MIAMI FOR MEDIA DAY

Gil de Ferran was in Miami today for a media day in preparation for the season-opening Grand Prix of Miami. During the media day, de Ferran debuted the IRL's 2-seat gas powered car, which he drove through the streets of Miami.

In addition, de Ferran attended a media luncheon, with fellow IRL drivers Eliseo Salazar and Felipe Giaffone at Hardaway's Firehouse Four.

At the end of the day, de Ferran, an avid chef, prepared dinner for the media at Café Abracci in Coral Gables.

DE FERRAN AND CASTRONEVES EARN ALL-STAR HONORS

Both Marlboro Team Penske drivers, Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were voted to the 2001 CART All-Star Team at the recent CART All-Star Gala in Monterey, CA.

Gil de Ferran, two-time CART Champion earned the first-place spot on the All-Star Team along with his second consecutive Mario Andretti Trophy while Castroneves earned fourth-place on the five-man team, in his All-Star debut.

Both drivers took advantage of a break during the IRL Test in the West last week to travel to Monterey for the awards ceremony at the Monterey Aquarium.

CASTRONEVES IN THE NEWS

While it may seem that the weather is still chilly, signs of summer are definitely apparent to Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves who is appearing in Sports Illustrated's "2002 Swimsuit Issue" just released on newsstands. Castroneves, who completed the photo shoot in New York City last fall, will appear in the special section devoted to Latin athletes.

In addition to his appearance in Sports Illustrated this month, Castroneves is also featured on the cover of the February Selecta Magazine, a lifestyle magazine that focuses on Latin American Culture in Southern Florida, and he can be seen featured in the current issue of "Nexos," a quarterly magazine written in Spanish and Portuguese, which focuses on Latin American culture and lifestyle available exclusively on American Airlines.

-mtp-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Eliseo Salazar , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Mario Andretti
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske