IRL: De Ferran completes first Toyota test at Indy

De Ferran completes first Toyota test at IMS. INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2002 -- Gil de Ferran completed more than 400 miles of testing with Toyota's new Indy Racing League engine Oct. 9-10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. de Ferran...

De Ferran completes first Toyota test at IMS.

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2002 -- Gil de Ferran completed more than 400 miles of testing with Toyota's new Indy Racing League engine Oct. 9-10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

de Ferran drove a 2002 Dallara chassis equipped with the new Toyota engine. de Ferran and teammate Helio Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, drive for Marlboro Team Penske, which will switch from Chevrolet to Toyota power in 2003.

The test was the first time de Ferran has driven an Indy Racing car since suffering a concussion and a hairline fracture of his left wrist in a Lap 52 accident during the Delphi Indy 300 Sept. 8 at Chicagoland Speedway.

"It's going really well," de Ferran said. "It's going well from two standpoints. I very happy to be here, it's nice to be back on the horse again. And secondly to be the first guy to drive (the) Toyota engine around this track is a privilege. Things are going well."

Toyota conducted its first on-track test Aug. 12 at Kentucky Speedway with Castroneves and will join Chevrolet and fellow IRL newcomer Honda as engine manufacturers in the league next year.

"We're just really happy to be here," said John Faivre, senior manager of track support for Toyota Racing Development. "Indy is our main focus, and the test is going really well. We're obviously new to the IRL, and this engine is new for us, so I think we have a long way to go to catch up to what the other guys are doing, but I think we'll get there."

This marks the third consecutive year that Marlboro Team Penske has tested in October at the Speedway, and conditions were ideal, said Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing.

"It seems like we're out here every October," Cindric said. "The weather seems a lot better than the last two we were here for. I've never seen two days of no wind and 70 degrees like this. It's a good opportunity for us to get out here and get Gil back in the car.

"We're just trying to do as much that applies to 2003 as possible."

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske , Toyota Racing