Camara leads Menards Infiniti Pro Series test at Phoenix
AVONDALE, Ariz., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005 -- Jaime Camara recorded the fastest lap of the day to lead the first Open Test of the 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season on Feb. 8 at Phoenix International Raceway.
The Brazilian rookie lapped the 1-mile oval in 23.2496 seconds, 154.841 mph in the No. 1 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Jeff Simmons was second-fastest with a lap of 23.3017 seconds, 154.495 mph in the No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
In all, eight cars recorded 1,363 laps during the testing session.
JAIME CAMARA (No. 1 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm very happy because in the beginning of the day, we were good, but we had some problems. The track is pretty difficult, so I thought we were not going to be the fastest. But we made adjustments, and we went out on new tires and there it is. (About what he learned during the test): "I learned a lot. It's a technical track. I needed to lift, and when I lifted, I transfered weight from the back of the car to the front of the car. That unbalanced the car, and it's very hard to control the car on this oval, especially for me because I have only really driven on road courses, so I learned a lot."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's good to have a chance to test before the season starts. I've never had that opportunity before in the Pro Series. We had a productive day. We struggled a little bit in the morning and probably should have made the changes we made at lunch time a little earlier, because we picked up a bunch of time after that. We had a pretty good car for quite a while. I think if we really wanted to go for it, that we could have gone a bit quicker."
CHRIS FESTA (No. 19 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're not as happy as you'd think. We started the day with things looking really good, but we went off in another direction and tried to work with that. We never really found anything we liked after we set our quick time in the morning. It just didn't work the way we thought it should, so we're probably going to go back to the way we started the day the next time we come here."
The IRL IndyCar Series opens its 10th season of competition with the Toyota Indy 300 at 2 p.m. (EST) on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season also opens on March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (EST) on March 17.
<pre> FASTEST SPEEDS OF SESSION Pos. Car Name C/E/T Speed 1. 1 Jaime Camara D/I/F 154.841 mph 2. 24 Jeff Simmons D/I/F 154.495 mph 3. 19 Chris Festa D/I/F 153.660 mph 4. 11 Travis Gregg D/I/F 153.474 mph 5. 6 Jon Herb D/I/F 152.697 mph