Dracone optimistic despite running with 2014 aero

Speculation around the paddock said that a small shortage of parts sidelined Dale Coyne driver Francesco Dracone, but despite this the Italian driver put in a huge effort during the opening two day test.

Dracone optimistic despite running with 2014 aero
Francesco Dracone, Conquest Racing
Francesco Dracone, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Francesco Dracone, Conquest Racing
Alex Lloyd, Dale Coyne Racing, Danica Patrick, Andretti Autosport, Francesco Dracone, Conquest Racing
Simona de Silvestro
Simona de Silvestro, HVM Racing Technology Chevrolet
Francesco Dracone, Conquest Racing

Francesco Dracone told Motorsport.com that he is excited to head to NOLA next week to get a taste of the real car he will be driving for the opening four rounds of 2015, after a rumored shortage of parts forced him to run last year's aero configuration.

He ran the most laps of any other driver on the first day of testing, but in the end found himself 4.3 seconds off the leaders pace at the end of the two day test.

No downforce makes for a tough test

"The test was a challenge for the team and for me," Dracone said.

"We had the new floor and the old aero kit on the car so we had very low downforce. It was good to get some laps in and learn the circuit and get to know the team and the engineers. Other than that there isn't a lot to take away from the test."

Getting those laps will be a positive in the long run for the 31-year-old. Despite the low downforce, team owner Dale Coyne told the Indianapolis Star that he is impressed with his times compared to those driving the newly configured cars.

"He's got 25 percent less downforce than anybody else, so I think his times here are respectable. I'd hate to drive that car," Coyne said.

Aero parts at a premium

One source within the paddock said that both Dracone and Simona de Silvestro, who has been picked up for a stint with Andretti Autosport were at the track to test, but speculated that both were without the nessesary parts to bring their cars up to 2015 spec, simply due to a lack of parts.

De Silvestro told the Associated Press that her deal with the team was simply too late to be prepared to test.

But with such a massive field to provide the kits to it is understandable that there will be a premium on the aero parts for the first few races. After all, teams only started taking delivery of the parts a couple weeks ago.

Staying optimistic moving forward

With two days of running with the team behind him, Dracone told Motorsport.com is optimistic about where he will land when the bits and pieces that make downforce arrive.

"I'm impressed by the downforce generated by the kits and I really look forward to NOLA to see where I will be.  Hopefully the simulation of the missing down force will be accurate and our pace will be good in the actual times."

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