Michael Andretti tests 2003 Dallara Honda at Homestead. Indianapolis, Ind. (January 8, 2003) -- With the 2003 racing season less than two months away, Michael Andretti and Andretti Green Racing began their preparations for the Indy Racing League...
Michael Andretti tests 2003 Dallara Honda at Homestead.
Indianapolis, Ind. (January 8, 2003) -- With the 2003 racing season less than two months away, Michael Andretti and Andretti Green Racing began their preparations for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series today by testing their new Dallara Honda Firestone at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"I was able to run about fifty laps," said Andretti. "The car was really fast, the crew at Andretti Green Racing did an awesome job of preparing the Dallara and the Honda engine was very strong. I like the design changes on the 2003 car, it's a lot nicer to drive and it's even nicer with the Honda engine in it. I think this is a really good start for us. Unfortunately we had a problem with the steering rack, which was installed a little too close for comfort, and I had to get out of the car after a while. But in spite of that I was very pleased with what we had out there today."
Today's test was the first for Andretti as an owner-driver.
"It was a little weird knowing that I was driving a car that I actually owned," admitted Andretti. "The bottom line though is that I was just so happy to get back into a race car that I didn't give it all that much thought. Unfortunately I won't be able to get back in the car tomorrow, the steering rack change is a major job and the car will have to go back to the shop. But after today's success I'm definitely looking forward to my next chance in the car."
Today's test was supervised by veteran team manager Tony Cotman.
"It was really a very good day," says Cotman. "We unloaded a good car and were able to put in about 80 miles and turned a best lap of about 26 seconds before we had to address the cockpit fittings for Michael. We spent the rest of the day fitting Tony Kanaan for tomorrow's test and will spend the early part of tomorrow getting him comfortable and seeing if he can drive the same type of mechanical setup as Michael. We're off to a good start."
Andretti Green Racing, which is owned by Andretti, along with partners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, will contest the 2003 Indy Racing League sanctioned IndyCar Series which gets underway on March 2 at Miami-Homestead.