Team Penske Birmingham test preview

Team Penske ready for Birmingham open test

TEAM PENSKE READY FOR IZOD INDYCAR SERIES OPEN TEST AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK

Penske Racing drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves flank Penske Performance President Tim Cindric
Penske Racing drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves flank Penske Performance President Tim Cindric

Testing, Testing: Team Penske will participate in its second test session of 2011 on Monday and Tuesday at the IZOD IndyCar Series open test at Barber Motorsports Park. All three Team Penske cars opened their 2011 on-track season with a March 1 test at the Barber road course, host of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the second round of the IZOD IndyCar Series, April 8-10.

Back at Barber: Barber Motorsports Park has been good to Team Penske since the Series began running at the Birmingham, Ala. circuit. In addition to winning both the pole (Will Power) and the race (Helio Castroneves) at last season’s inaugural race at Barber, the team led both days of the 2010 series open test at the venue. Team Penske wound up posting the three fastest times of the 2010 test with Power, Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe. Power also topped all practice times in the 2009 series pre-season open test at Barber.

Triumphant Return: Castroneves returns as defending champion at Barber Motorsports Park. In last season’s race, Power started from the pole as he looked to open the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series with three straight victories. Instead, it was Castroneves that made it three consecutive wins for the team as he led 20 laps to secure his first victory of the season and extend his record to 11 consecutive years with at least one win for Team Penske. Power finished fourth on the day while Briscoe came home in sixth place for Team Penske.

A Plethora of New Partners: Team Penske is proud to welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2011. Joining Power’s No. 12 car team primary sponsor, Verizon, in the Team Penske stable this season, IZOD will compete as a sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe beginning in 2011. Guidepoint Systems also joins Team Penske this season and will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves at this week’s test. This represents the same sponsor lineup that will be in place when Team Penske opens the 2011 season at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 25-27. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, AAA and PPG as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

Road Course Ready: If Team Penske is able to get off to a strong start to the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season, it will need to flex its road course muscle. The first four races of the season take place on temporary street circuits or road courses. The streets of St. Petersburg host the season opener followed by the race at Barber Motorsports Park. On April 17, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will serve as Round 3 of competition on the famed Long Beach street circuit while the fourth round of racing will take place on the Sao Paulo, Brazil street course, May 1. Last season, Team Penske posted victories in six of the nine road course venues on the series schedule, including three of the first four races of 2010, and Power captured the Mario Andretti Road Course Championship.

Legacy of Success: Team Penske continues to set the standard of success in open-wheel racing. Throughout its storied history, the team has posted 153 race wins, 12 National Championships and 196 pole positions. In addition, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500-mile race 15 times. Across all of its disciplines, Penske Racing teams have produced 332 major race wins, 395 pole positions and 23 National Championships.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BARBER IZOD INDYCAR SERIES OPEN TEST

Helio Castroneves: “I think everyone is ready to get back on track and start the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, I know I am. It’s been a long off-season and it felt good to get back behind the wheel a couple of weeks ago at Barber and now we’ll get to see how we run against most of the teams that will start the season in St. Petersburg. I’m looking forward to showing what we can do in the Guidepoint Systems car.”

Ryan Briscoe: “We learned a few things about the IZOD car at the Barber test a couple weeks ago and hopefully that gives us a good place to start here during this test. We’re all excited to start the season in just a couple of weeks and we need to make the most of this test so we’re prepared to go when we get to St. Pete.”

Will Power: “It was great to get back in the car at Barber and I thought we had a good test. We’re looking to build on that over the next couple of days and make sure we get the Verizon car dialed in. I love racing at Barber Motorsports Park and I think we can learn a lot here that can help us when we’re back in a few weeks for the race. But, one step at a time. We need to work hard to make sure we’re ready for the start of the season in St. Pete and I can’t wait to get the season underway. It’s going to be a fun year.”

-source: penske racing

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Series INDYCAR
Tags birmingham, indycar, penske