Andretti fastest at Homestead test. HOMESTEAD, Florida (February 18, 2003) - Despite a motor problem that sidelined him for much of this morning's practice session at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Team 7-Eleven's Michael Andretti still managed to ...
Andretti fastest at Homestead test.
HOMESTEAD, Florida (February 18, 2003) - Despite a motor problem that sidelined him for much of this morning's practice session at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Team 7-Eleven's Michael Andretti still managed to clock the fastest lap of the day at the Indy Racing League's open test in Florida. Andretti, who carries the dual role of team owner and driver for Andretti Green Racing through this year's Indianapolis 500, turned a mere 18 laps in the pre-lunch period, but came back on track after the break with his Dallara/Honda/Firestone sporting a new engine and dressed in qualifying trim. Within his first few laps Andretti rocketed around the 1.5-mile speedway at 207.378 mph (26.0394 seconds) and became the only driver to crack the 207 mph mark during the two-day test.
Andretti's teammate at Team 7-Eleven, Tony Kanaan, also spent time in qualifying trim and was third fastest in the afternoon session and fifth overall for the day with a fast lap of 204.958 mph (26.3469 seconds). Satisfied with their performance in qualifying trim, Team 7-Eleven spent the remainder of the afternoon session working on race setup.
Gil de Ferran was the second quickest in today's test session posting a fast lap of 206.756 mph (26.1178 seconds) and Scott Sharp was third with a best lap of 206.230 mph (26.1843 seconds). Team 7-Eleven's technical partner, Dario Franchitti was sixth quick with a best lap of 204.536 mph (26.4012 seconds).
Following today's action, Andretti Green Racing and Team 7-Eleven will head home to Indianapolis. The 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season kicks off on March 2 at Homestead. The race will be broadcast live on ABC at 1 p.m. eastern.
Michael Andretti, Team 7-Eleven
"We definitely had a good day and I know that we learned a lot from our time here. We've made a lot of gains over the past couple of days and certainly know we have the speed we need. Honda did a great job for us. I'm confident with the way we performed in qualifying trim (Michael set his fast lap on a qualifying setup) but we still have work to do in terms of our race setup. It's certainly a confidence-booster but we do know that we have improvements to make. I'm looking forward to getting back here for the race and seeing how well Team 7-Eleven can do."
Kim Green, President -- Andretti Green Racing
"Overall we had a good test at Homestead. We came down here with a big test list, a lot of things to try, some that worked and some that did not. Overall we are happy. Michael shows that even as a 40 year old he can be very competitive. Every time he hops in the car he gives 100 percent, and I'm pleased to see that ownership hasn't interfered with his speed. It was a good test, but I still feel that we have some work to do. This is a competitive series and what we have to do is make sure that when we come back to Homestead for race week, that we can adapt to the conditions."
Tony Kanaan, Team 7-Eleven
"I was just trying to find what is best for the race. Team 7-Eleven did a great job and we worked together to find the right setup for all of us. Michael (Andretti) found what he was looking for and was fastest overall, so I think we're in pretty good shape. Of course conditions will be different when we come back so we'll just have to wait and see what we get then. It's going to be exciting."
Tony Cotman -- Team 7-Eleven Team Manager
"We're pretty satisfied with this test but we also know that we still have work to do. Tony ran basically the same car as Michael did and while we are quite happy with our qualifying trim, we've got to do better on full tanks. Both AGR and Honda still have more to accomplish. We're still short of where we want to be, but we are pleased with some of the progress we are making."
- AGR -