IRL: Milwaukee: Round ten preview

HISTORIC MILWAUKEE MILE OFFERS NEXT CHALLENGE FOR IRL INDYCAR SERIES PARTICIPANTS INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 19, 2005 -- The IRL IndyCar Series continues its 10th season of competition with the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 on Sunday, July 24 at...

HISTORIC MILWAUKEE MILE OFFERS NEXT CHALLENGE FOR IRL INDYCAR SERIES PARTICIPANTS

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 19, 2005 -- The IRL IndyCar Series continues its 10th season of competition with the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 on Sunday, July 24 at the historic Milwaukee Mile.

Located on land that was originally a horse farm, The Milwaukee Mile was used for training and racing thoroughbreds. Now used for car racing, the historic track is one of the flattest on the circuit. The equal 1,265 feet straightaways are banked at 2.5 degrees while the turns are banked at 9.25 degrees, making it one of the most challenging tracks for drivers and their teams as described in the following first-person narratives:

THE DRIVER: Patrick Carpentier may be new to the IndyCar Series, but he's not new to the Milwaukee Mile. Carpentier holds the one-lap record at Milwaukee, a lap of 20.028 seconds, 185.500 mph, set in 1998 and has raced at Milwaukee several times in his racing career.

"I like these kind of tracks. I like the mile track or three-quarter or little bit past a mile. But Milwaukee is a nice track. The only thing you have to be careful of, there's a small bump, you enter corner one, and you can go really deep into that corner. When you go around what we call turn two, which is still the first corner, right towards the exit there, there's a bit of a bump. You got to set yourself up to make sure you're well placed over that bump so you can accelerate very early."

"I suspect I'm not going to lift too much on that track. The car should handle pretty well. Three and four normally are fairly flat, and you have to make a nice arc and try to go around that track and keep the scrub to a minimum. The difference with Milwaukee is there's not much banking, so it makes it a bit more challenging."

THE ENGINEER: Bill Pappas enters his sixth year with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. As chief engineer for Darren Manning, Pappas is responsible for the technical specifications of the car, as well as communicating with the driver during testing and on race weekends. Pappas is very experienced at racing at Milwaukee, having spent three years with Walker Racing as the chief engineer for Gil de Ferran. Prior to that, he was on the crew for Hall Racing and Hayhoe Racing.

"To start off with, it's a flat track. We don't have banking to keep the car balanced like we've had the last few weeks. So to keep our cars balanced, and to get balance right we have to compromise between how much front grip and rear grip we need. It's a pretty bumpy track, so you have to have the dampers right for the shocks. If you can get that sorted out, you get a very fast race car."

"We haven't been on a track like this the whole year. Phoenix or Richmond have banking, and we use a completely different set of solutions in getting the drivers acclimated to the flat track and getting them to understand what the car wants."

"Still, each team has experience in racing here. Darren (Manning) raced at all of these tracks last year. He knows what he wants in the car, and we're not changing the underwing or drastically changing geometry. It comes down to fine-tuning the springs shocks and roll bars to suit each circuit."

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD: Firestone's race tire development team considers the configuration of each track as it chooses the tire compound to be used at each track.

According to Firestone engineers, the relatively flat oval at Milwaukee requires the highest-grip compounds of any IRL venue. The tire is similar in construction to the one used at Phoenix earlier this year.

RACE FACTS:

WHAT: ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225, 10th race in 17-race 2005 season
WHERE: The Milwaukee Mile, 1-mile asphalt oval
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, July 24
DISTANCE: 225 laps/225 miles
PAST RACE WINNERS: 2004 -- Dario Franchitti
TV: ESPN (live), 2:30 p.m. (EDT), July 24.

RADIO: Qualifying webcast: 1:15 p.m. (EDT) July 23, www.indycar.com. Wrap-up show: 4:30 p.m., IMS Radio Network. Race: IMS Radio Network, 2 p.m. (EDT), July 24.

The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the ABC Supply A.J. Foyt 225 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) July 24 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152, "XM Extreme." The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series event is the Milwaukee 100 on July 24 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis at 3 p.m. (EDT) on July 28. The next episode of "The Fast Life," ESPN2's behind-the-scenes series about the IndyCar Series, airs at noon (EDT) on July 24.

-indyracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Gil de Ferran , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt
Teams CIP