(Sparta, KY) -- Heritage Motorsports and Formula One veteran Johnny Herbert each came one step closer today to achieving their goals for the 2002 Indy Racing League season. The dynamic duo teamed up for an impressive all day test at the Kentucky...
(Sparta, KY) -- Heritage Motorsports and Formula One veteran Johnny Herbert each came one step closer today to achieving their goals for the 2002 Indy Racing League season. The dynamic duo teamed up for an impressive all day test at the Kentucky Speedway, where Herbert posted speeds of over 214 miles per hour, which would have qualified him on the front row for yesterdays IRL event.
Herbert, who is best known for his career in Formula One racing, is testing with Heritage in preparation of next year's Indy 500. Heritage Motorsports is also looking to the future, and this test allowed them to try a different engine and audition a top driver looking for a ride.
Testing for over 3 hours, Herbert put on a remarkable show for only his second time on an oval course. He had the car running over 200 miles per hour in only three laps.
"I'm very happy with the test today," Herbert said. "I've only accumulated about a day's worth of experience on the oval tracks, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities. Winning the Indy 500 is my last major challenge, and I'm doing all I can to get there. This was a great package to run with, and I really hope I'm competing here next year." Herbert tested a Heritage Motorsports G-Force chassis powered by an Infiniti Indy 35-A engine, which made for a very strong package for today's test. The engine made its debut in Phoenix this year, and won its first race in Kansas.
"I bit into this weekend's pole speed. With this ride, I could have qualified on the front row of yesterday's race," Herbert said. "This is a very drivable engine. It's very powerful in the right places on the track. It provides a very interesting drive, which I enjoyed. I was able to keep the momentum up all the way around the oval."
Herbert tested an oval earlier this year in Rockingham, England with a CART team. According to Herbert, he is keeping his options open for next year.
"I'm glad I've been able to see both leagues," Johnny said. "My goal is to get as much experience with a team before going to the Indy 500. Right now, I'm trying to figure out all the possibilities and looking at the strongest packages. I'm looking for the best opportunity to win the Indianapolis 500."
According to Herbert, Heritage Motorsports offers him the best opportunity to prepare for Indy. Heritage is also using the test to prepare for the future. The team spent the day tweaking on the car's set up and suspension.
"This was a great test for the team, " said John Mecom III, co-owner of Heritage Motorsports. "The conditions today were very comparable to Sunday's race, so we're able to make a close comparison of the data we've accumulated. That was the goal of the test. We learned a lot about the G-Force chassis and were able to experiment with the Infiniti engine. We're making ourselves better for the future."