IRL: Dario Franchitti Homestead open test notes

Franchitti sixth at Homestead open test. HOMESTEAD, Florida (February 18, 2003) -- Dario Franchitti placed his ...

Franchitti sixth at Homestead open test.

HOMESTEAD, Florida (February 18, 2003) -- Dario Franchitti placed his #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone sixth on the speed charts at the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series open test held at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday and Tuesday, February 17 and 18. Franchitti posted a quick lap of 204.536 mph (26.4012 seconds) at the 1.5-mile track.

Franchitti and the Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola team spent the majority of the two- day test session trying to find a well-balanced race setup. After a mechanical problem kept the team out of the first practice session, they experimented with shocks and springs to increase the mechanical grip of the car. The pit crew took this opportunity to begin practicing their stops, performing more than 50 pit stops over the two day period.

Franchitti's technical partner and new team owner Michael Andretti paced the open test in the #7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone with a fast lap of 207.378 mph (26.0394 s). Gil de Ferran was second with a speed of 206.756 mph (26.1178 s) and Scott Sharp was third with a lap at 206.230 mph (26.1843 s). Tony Kanaan, Franchitti's other technical partner was fifth quick with a best lap of 204.958 mph (26.3469 seconds).

Today was Franchitti's final pre-season test. The Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola crew members will head back to their Indianapolis race shop to prepare the car for the IndyCar Series opener on March 2nd at Homestead-Miami Speedway which will be broadcast live on ABC at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Dario Franchitti, Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola:

"The Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola car was reasonably quick this morning as we ran laps in our qualifying setup and then shifted our focus to finding a race setup. Michael (Andretti, AGR teammate) was quickest overall so we know we have a good car in qualifying trim. We learned a lot in the last couple of days but we still have a way to go. I'm not sure how much this test will serve as an indicator for the race on March 2nd because test conditions are always different from race conditions. In the race these cars are so evenly matched and everyone runs in one group, while at a test just a few cars run together."

Kyle Moyer, Team Manager, Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola

"Overall it was a good test. We learned a lot about the car and we were able to concentrate on our race setup. We worked very hard to keep the car balanced throughout a long run on one set of tires. We still have some things to work on but overall we made some progress on our race setup. It was also good for our crew to work on their pit stops. It has been a busy winter in the shop and with the first race coming up in a week-and-a-half, we want to make sure the team is comfortable working together."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan