IRL: Brack, Rice, Meira Indy test notes 2003-04-19

Brack, Rice, Meira test new IRL equipment at IMS April 19. INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, April 19, 2003 -- 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack was joined by two Indy rookies -- Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira -- in private testing at the Indianapolis...

Brack, Rice, Meira test new IRL equipment at IMS April 19.

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, April 19, 2003 -- 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack was joined by two Indy rookies -- Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira -- in private testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 19.

The three drivers combined for a total of 321 laps of testing with the new Indy Racing League IndyCar Series chassis and engine combinations. Meira, driving the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone for Team Menard, completed the most laps with 148.

Brack, who also won the 1998 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season championship driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, took his first laps at the legendary 2.5-mile oval with Team Rahal driving the No. 15 Rahal/Letterman/Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

"It's been a pain-free day for us," said Brack, who completed 79 laps of testing. "We've done a lot of small trials. We're getting there and it's going pretty good. The speeds were decent and everything feels good, and that's all you can ask for on the first day of testing. We have the whole month to get really fast."

Buddy Rice completed 94 laps in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Rice has competed in eight IndyCar Series races in his career, but has yet to experience driving in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." In his typically cool demeanor, Rice says he's taking the days leading up to Indy one at a time.

"We're shaking down our (Indianapolis) car and just getting it all ready," he said, "just trying to get some seat time with the new Dallara and the Chevy, and seeing where we're going to be for the month of May.

"(I am) definitely excited, but there's a lot going on. Got this (test) today, then I go through my rookie orientation next week, then it's off to Nashville for a night test. I think after that it will set in that we're getting ready for the month of May."

Meira, who will be a teammate to full-time Team Menard driver Jaques Lazier at Indy, will drive the No. 22 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone in his first attempt to qualify for the world's most prestigious auto race.

April 19 was Meira's first day of testing on the famed Speedway oval. The driver from Brazilia, Brazil, said it was an emotional experience given the history of the Speedway, but kept his emotions in check.

"Today is the first time this car has come here," said Meira. "There is a lot to do, lots to improve. We're still working, but the good thing is that every stop, every change we do is for the better, so we're on the right way.

"I tried today to keep my emotions as low as possible. It doesn't match very well -- speed and a lot of emotion. Even to only have done a few laps here is special because someday you can say you did some laps at Indianapolis."

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jaques Lazier  , Kenny Brack , Buddy Rice , A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira