New generation car Indy IRP test notes

DONOSO, FIKE TURN LAPS IN SILVER CROWN TEST AT IRP INDIANAPOLIS -- Pablo Donoso and Aaron Fike combined Wednesday to turn more than 150 laps in the new generation pavement Silver Crown cars in a private test on the .686-mile Indianapolis Raceway...

DONOSO, FIKE TURN LAPS IN SILVER CROWN TEST AT IRP

INDIANAPOLIS -- Pablo Donoso and Aaron Fike combined Wednesday to turn more than 150 laps in the new generation pavement Silver Crown cars in a private test on the .686-mile Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind., further gaining information necessary to perform in the 2006 series.

Driving the Riley-built chassis recently purchased by Johnny Vance and Eliseo Salzar, Donoso lapped the track 117 times, reaching times in the low 23-second bracket. After placing an emphasis on car reliability and durability in previous tests at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, the team used Wednesday's session to adjust the car according to Donoso's preferences. Among changes included tire stagger, spring rates, car balance and shocks. Six- and ten-lap sessions were the standards during the test.

In addition, Donoso became acquainted to the shortest track he's competed on during his career. The learning experience, the Santiago, Chile native said, continues from test to test.

"We improved on our times all day," Donoso said. "The track was different from any other track I've ever been on before. Kansas was a lot different because you go very fast through the turns, but here you're a lot slower because the track is shorter and the turns are sharper. But it was okay. Every time I'm in the car, I'm learning, so I'm happy."

Riley Technologies Vice President Ron McMahon was delighted by both the performances of Donoso and the car.

"It was a real progressive day because he learned a lot," McMahon said. "We tried a lot of things on the car, and everything we changed we found reacted better.

"I think Pablo is doing is a really good job," McMahon added. "His throttle control was very good today and he ran very smoothly. IRP is a tricky place to run; a lot of guys have problems at IRP with throttle control. I think he 's going to be a real challenge for some guys."

A veteran of Silver Crown racing, Fike, of Galesburg, Ill., ran approximately 40 laps in the Devin Racing Chassis machine, the first time the car made competitive laps. DRC President Joe Devin used the test as a shakedown and later as an opportunity to make changes to his first car. Among those changes included were to the stagger and air pressure, shock and spring combination adjustments and ride height alterations. The lowest recorded lap times were in the low to mid 22-second range.

For the first time out, Devin was pleased with the car's performance.

"I was extremely pleased," Devin said. "We couldn't really get as aggressive as we wanted to be, and we know there's a lot left in the car. Overall, it was the first time we got the car out on the track, and we found a lot of good things."

Devin said Fike mentioned at the end of the test that the car paralleled, in many ways, the characteristics of the former Silver Crown pavement cars.

"He was really happy; he had fun," Devin said.

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Series USAC
Drivers Aaron Fike , Pablo Donoso