Sharp Debuts with Delphi Fernandez Racing at Homestead Veteran Indy Racing League driver Scott Sharp turned his first laps with Delphi Fernandez Racing as the entire IRL IndyCarÂ® Series field today concluded its first road course test in ...
Sharp Debuts with Delphi Fernandez Racing at Homestead
Veteran Indy Racing League driver Scott Sharp turned his first laps with Delphi Fernandez Racing as the entire IRL IndyCar® Series field today concluded its first road course test in preparation for the start of the 2005 season. The two-day Open Test was held on the 2.21-mile road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Sharp was announced as the driver of the #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone on Wednesday as he and high technology industry leader Delphi teamed with Fernandez Racing to form Delphi Fernandez Racing.
Sharp posted the 11th fastest time of the outing among the 19-car field. It was the team's first tour with the new road course chassis configuration. The test also marked a series of firsts for Sharp -- his first run with the team, and his first experience with a Panoz chassis and Honda power. A veteran road racer with two SCCA Trans-Am Championships and a Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona title to his credit, Sharp's last run in an open-wheel car on a road course was back in 1994.
The 2005 season marks the 10th year of competition for the IndyCar Series, and its first season of road racing. The 17-race schedule includes new road course events at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and a street course race in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Scott Sharp, #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone:
"I am really pleased with how things ended after two days. Certainly, we all want to be fastest but most of the other teams have had at least one, two, if not three road course tests. Most of the drivers have driven road courses a lot more recently in open-wheel cars than I have. Obviously, with that, we knew coming here would be a real learning experience for all of us. I think it went really well. The goal was to come here and put a lot of laps together and we ran a lot of laps both days. In the latter half, the engineers and I really started working well together. We took off almost 1.2 seconds from yesterday and I am really pleased with that kind of progress. We satisfied all of our goals for now. We can go think about it, talk about it and get better for the next test.
"Overall, I am just so thrilled to be with Fernandez Racing. They have done a fabulous job and that goes hand in hand with Honda as well. They were certainly the package to beat last year. I can't wait for Saturday. I've spent the last 10 years trying to make myself a pretty good oval driver, and I am anxious to get in with a team that is very strong on the ovals. We will have a little bit of time to pick it up on the road courses before we go road course racing."
SCOTT SHARP FAST FACTS: Enters his 10th season of IndyCar Series competition-- is the series' most experienced driver with 98 career starts and a record 90 consecutive starts-- ranked second in IndyCar Series career wins-- career record includes eight wins, five pole positions and 27 top-five finishes-- was the 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion and the 2001 Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole winner-- 36 years old from Norwalk, Connecticut-- currently resides in Jupiter, Florida.
Delphi Fernandez Racing: Veteran Indy Racing League driver Scott Sharp and high technology industry leader Delphi teamed with Fernandez Racing in 2005 to form Delphi Fernandez Racing. Fernandez Racing was formed in the fall of 2000 by Mexican driving talent Adrian Fernandez and motorsports veteran Tom Anderson. The team entered its first season of IRL IndyCar Series competition in 2004 with Fernandez, and claimed three wins, six top-five finishes and a fifth-place ranking in the championship standings. Delphi Fernandez Racing is the sister team of Super Aguri Fernandez Racing which fields 2004 IndyCar Series Bombardier Rookie of the Year Kosuke Matsuura (#55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone).