INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULES COMPATIBILITY TEST AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series and Daytona International Speedway announced plans today for a compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway on Sept. 26 and 27 that will feature six drivers from four different teams.
The last four IndyCar Series champions, Sam Hornish Jr. of Marlboro Team Penske, Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Tony Kanaan of Andretti Green Racing will join 2006 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Marco Andretti of Andretti Green Racing and Panther Racing's Vitor Meira at the test, which will take place on 10-turn, 2.73-mile circuit.
The visit will allow IndyCar Series officials to determine the possibility of Daytona International Speedway serving as a preseason testing venue.
"We are both excited and curious to see the IndyCar Series cars on the road-course and high-banked third and fourth turns of Daytona International Speedway," said John Lewis, the Indy Racing League's vice president of league development. "A compatibility test is due diligence by the League to make sure our equipment is well-suited with a facility.
"We had inquired with International Speedway Corp., about alternative warm weather venues for our preseason testing and that led to the planned compatibility test at Daytona. The IndyCar Series is committed to continuing at a minimum its annual pre-season oval testing at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and in this case we will be at Daytona to see if the track could be a possible option for our for road-course preseason testing in the future."
The compatibility test will allow series officials to see transitions onto the banking, tire wear/side loads and braking zones while looking for any challenging surface areas on the track. The IndyCar Series officials have analyzed data from Chip Ganassi Racing and Cheever Racing Rolex Sports Car Series programs that indicate IndyCar Series cars should have no issues.
Chassis-maker Dallara has stress-tested suspension as well on the calculated loads. Firestone will evaluate among its selection of tires what will be used at the compatibility test.
"We're happy to welcome the IndyCar Series to Daytona International Speedway," said DIS President Robin Braig. "The IndyCar Series has asked to test here at Daytona, we had an opening on our schedule, and we're happy to accommodate them."
The IndyCar Series and its teams will conduct the on-track activity with support from the Daytona facilities crew. For track services, Daytona will tap the experience and knowledge available from International Speedway Corporation's (ISC) other facilities with IndyCar Series events, which include Homestead-Miami Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Richmond International Raceway, Kansas Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.
"Both Daytona International Speedway and ISC have been very accommodating and we're excited to see what opportunities this might bring," said Lewis.