McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON AND HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL COMPLETED ROOKIE ORIENTATION FOR THE INDY 500 TODAY OVERALL: The annual Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) allows rookies to get up to speed gradually. The rookies must...
McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON AND HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL COMPLETED ROOKIE ORIENTATION FOR THE INDY 500 TODAY
OVERALL: The annual Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) allows rookies to get up to speed gradually. The rookies must complete 10 laps at different speed levels. Phase 1 is 200 to 205 mph; Phase 2 is 205 to 210 mph; Phase 3 is 210 to 215 mph while Phase 4 is 10 laps above 215 mph. The track was open from 12 -5 PM EDT. Rahal completed his fourth and final phase at approx. 2:30 PM while Wilson finished soon thereafter. Wilson and company headed to the garage area while Rahal made one more run before calling it a day.
Graham Rahal, No. 06 Hole in the Wall Camps Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Surprisingly I wasn't nervous at all. I think if you get yourself worked up about it you get really nervous. Then you make errors and mistakes which can lead to a crash. It's a big weight off our shoulders to finish ROP and now we can get down to work and get on with the month and that's the biggest thing. Of course it feels good to get a day under our belts and it's pretty cool running here too. We didn't want to use too many sets of tires today. It's all about conserving those right now. We completed ROP then ran another couple of outings and parked it. We'll regroup and go back out tomorrow to get a little more track time. Justin and I were both running pretty well and we're both running high downforce right now. I don't know what everybody else is running but we're going to start peeling it off here and see what happens. It's a big place. When you run 220 here the speed doesn't get to you really. We need to gain another nine or so to get where everyone was last year. I didn't expect to go as fast as we did right away. I didn't know what to think but I'm pretty happy with the way its gone."
Justin Wilson, No. 02 McDonald's Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This definitely feels like the right way around the track. This is a completely different place from when I ran in Formula One here. Someone told me it was like four quick corners on a road course and that is what I have found. The car goes where you point it whereas on some of the other ovals that is not the case. It's a really cool feeling when the car releases out of the corner and onto the straight. Looking at Turn 1 is pretty cool. You just head down there and all you can see is the wall and just when you start to panic the corner opens up and you turn in and the car flows so well. It's a real pleasure; I'm having fun driving the McDonald's car here. It was a smooth day everything went to plan. The McDonald's car is working well and the team is doing a great job. It's a good starting point and hopefully we can start to work on our setups and begin to take some drag out of the car. You can get to a certain level then you have to start taking downforce out to go quicker. That's when the car starts to get more difficult and you have to start driving it"