For Immediate Release BOAT LEADS WAY IN FIRST OPEN TEST OF UPDATED IRL CARS LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., December 9, 1997 - Billy Boat turned a lap at 21.664 seconds, 166.174 miles an hour Tuesday to lead all drivers in an Indy Racing...
For Immediate Release
BOAT LEADS WAY IN FIRST OPEN TEST OF UPDATED IRL CARS
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., December 9, 1997 - Billy Boat turned a lap at 21.664 seconds, 166.174 miles an hour Tuesday to lead all drivers in an Indy Racing League open test at Walt Disney World Speedway, the first open test for teams with updated chassis. The lap, in an A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Oldsmobile Aurora, was better than Tony Stewart's pole speed of 166.013 miles an hour last January for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World. Ten drivers were on the track Tuesday. More are scheduled to participate Wednesday with a closed tire test set for Thursday. The third Indy 200 at Walt Disney World is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24 at the one-mile Walt Disney World oval, kicking off the League's third season. BILLY BOAT: "This car seems to be balanced better. We used to (with the other car in '97 configuration) fight a pushing condition in Turns 1 and 2. That's greatly improved. We've made it better in the slow corners and maintained the stability in the high-speed corners. With the changes Dallara's made, it should be more improved under a race condition. A.J.'s got some other ideas he wants to try. I think we're going to need to be quicker." *** Scott Goodyear was the first to test the new G Force package Dec. 5-6 in a Goodyear tire test at Disney World for the new Panther Racing team. He clocked a lap Dec. 5 on the team's data system at 21.21 seconds, 169.651 miles an hour. Goodyear was not at the track and underwent sinus surgery today. The Panther team's next test is Dec. 18 in Phoenix. *** Stan Wattles, the IRL's second owner/driver, is doing most of the development testing of the new Riley & Scott chassis. Wattles and the Metro Racing Systems team raced the car at Las Vegas and have tested at Las Vegas, Texas, Pikes Peak, New Hampshire, Indianapolis and Walt Disney World Speedway. STAN WATTLES: "The easy part is the mechanical stuff. Engine installation, basic chassis setup It's pretty easy. It's been good about telling me about the changes we've made. There doesn't seem like there's anything masked about the car. We went to Texas and ran some pretty consistent 207's, which I was very happy about. It's coming to us in bits and pieces. There's a lot of good aerodynamic stuff with the Riley & Scott that might be worth a couple miles an hour. I think it'll be just as competitive (as the Dallara's and G Forces), at least." *** Dr. Jack Miller and AMS/Crest Racing tested a new version of Infiniti Indy engine for the first time. JEFF SINDEN (co-owner, AMS/Crest Racing): "They're getting better all the time. We've made big gains in the way it pulls the RPMs. The torque band has increased." FRANK HONSOWETZ (Nissan manager of motorsports): "We're getting miles on our hardware. All the dyno testing at home says we're gaining. This is the first generation of Phase 2 stuff. Since Vegas, it's 20 pounds lighter and has 20 more horsepower. If we haven't caught up yet, we're close to catching up." *** NOTE TO TV ASSIGNMENT DESKS: TelX Sports will provide a satellite uplink with IRL open test highlights 2-2:!5 p.m. Thursday on TelStar 5, Transponder 24
TOP SPEEDS OF THE DAY FROM IRL TIMING AND SCORING Driver Team Car/Engine Laps Time Speed Bill Boat AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Aurora 64 21.664 166.174 Jimmy Kite (33T) Team Scandia Dallara/Aurora 31 22.213 162.067 Tony Stewart (1) Team Menard G Force/Aurora 13 22.279 161.587 Greg Ray Thomas Knapp Dallara/Aurora 66 22.282 161.565 Jimmy Kite (33) Team Scandia Dallara/Aurora 76 22.283 161.558 Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Aurora 25 22.552 159.631 Kenny Brack AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Aurora 75 22.566 159.532 Jeff Ward ISM Racing G Force/Aurora 108 22.689 158.667 Roberto Guerrero Pagan Racing Dallara/Aurora 41 23.058 156.128 Stan Wattles Metro Racing R&S/Aurora 79 23.322 154.361 Dr. Jack Miller AMS/Crest Racing Dallara/Infiniti 89 24.627 146.181 Tony Stewart (1T) Team Menard G Force/Aurora 14 25.706 140.045