Connor is Immediately Fast in Menards Infiniti Pro Series Car

HOMESTEAD, Fla., Jan. 20 - American road racer Larry Connor of Centerville, Ohio drove a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car for the first time Tuesday and proceeded to record the fastest lap of the day for that series in a private test at Homestead-Miami Speedway here.

The Menards Infiniti Pro Series sessions were held as part of an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series open test.

Connor was invited to participate in the test, held on the facility's 2.21-mile road course, by Genoa Racing's owner, Angelo Ferro, and its engineer, Tom Knapp.

Both the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and the Menards Infiniti Pro Series will race on road courses for the first time this year, and Connor's road-racing expertise was very helpful to the team.

"They invited me to shake down the car and see what it was like to drive on a road course," Connor said. "I did about 130 miles. The cars were better than what I thought they'd be. The handling was reasonably good, and it has a good powerplant. I had a real favorable impression, and I may do some selected road course events in that series later this year."

Of the 14 events on the Menards Infiniti Pro Series schedule for 2005, three will be held on road courses and one is slated for a street course. The road course events will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June during the United States Grand Prix weekend; at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on Aug. 28; and at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. on Sept. 25. The street-course event is slated for St. Petersburg, Fla. on April 3.

Before he has any more open-wheel action Connor will drive in the most prestigious endurance sports car race in North America, the Rolex 24, on Feb. 5-6 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. He'll share the Mears Motor Coach Riley Pontiac No. 6 fielded by Michael Shank Racing with co-drivers Duncan Dayton, Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears Jr. in that event. The team competes in the top class, Daytona Prototype.

Menards Infiniti Pro Series races are televised on ESPN2. The Rolex 24, the biggest event in the Grand American Rolex Series, will be televised live on SPEED.

-lm-