CAMARA, CUNNINGHAM TOP 190 MPH AT FUTABA FREEDOM 100 OPEN TEST INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 3, 2005 -- If testing speeds are any indication, Jaime Camara is ready to rebound at the Futaba Freedom 100 on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor ...
CAMARA, CUNNINGHAM TOP 190 MPH AT FUTABA FREEDOM 100 OPEN TEST
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 3, 2005 -- If testing speeds are any indication, Jaime Camara is ready to rebound at the Futaba Freedom 100 on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Camara, from Brazil, was the fastest of 16 Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers participating in an Open Test on May 3 on the 2.5-mile oval at IMS in preparation for the Futaba Freedom 100 on May 27. His top lap was 47.2568 seconds, 190.449 mph in the No. 1 CELG -- Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
It was a strong recovery for Camara, who was eliminated from the last series race, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 3, in an accident on the first turn of the first lap.
"We are very happy with our job today," Camara said. "The track is very difficult to drive. You have to find the right line; it is not easy to do that. When I was out there, it was not that simple.
"We did a good job today, and the car is very good, I think we are going to be very competitive during the race. We will take what line to take from the experience. The line I took today was different from what everybody else is doing, and I think it is the best for the race."
Wade Cunningham was second at Indianapolis at 47.3661, 190.009 in the No. 33 Visit New Zealand Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, while Chris Festa rounded out the top three at 47.3854, 189.932 in the No. 19 SpacePak/CareCentric/SSM Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
St. Petersburg winner Marco Andretti was fourth at 47.4001, 189.873 in the No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Andretti is the grandson of 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti and the son of Indianapolis 500 standout and Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti.
"It's definitely all new to me," Andretti said of his first laps on the IMS oval. "I've never done anything like it, like I've never come down the long straightaways and not lifted, just thrown it in the corner. I had to learn a lot, but it came quick.
"I was flat the third lap out, no problem. And then from then on it was just about trying to free it (car) up."
Veteran Marty Roth completed the top five at 47.4961, 189.489 in the No. 4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
Series points leader Travis Gregg was sixth at 47.5423, 189.305 in the No. 7 Lucas Oil Products/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, as Schmidt's team put three drivers in the top six.
The top six drivers all were faster than the pole speed of 189.274 set by race winner Thiago Medeiros at last year's Futaba Freedom 100.
"It was great," Gregg said about his first laps on the IMS oval. "The track, they repaved it so it's smooth, it has a lot of grip since they did the diamond (grinding) on it. It's real racy."
Al Unser, grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser and son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., was ninth at 48.0739, 187.212 in the No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
A total of 1,415 incident-free laps were turned during the one-day test. Festa turned 147 laps, or 367.5 miles, more than any other driver.
The Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers will return to IMS on Thursday, May 26 for practice and qualifying for the third annual Futaba Freedom 100. The 100-mile race starts at 12:30 p.m. (local time) on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 27.
Indy 500, Futaba Freedom 100 tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 89th Indianapolis 500 and Futaba Freedom 100, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.