IRL: Galles trio finds comfort zone in Miami testing

JINDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001 - Galles Racing drivers Al Unser Jr., Casey Mears and Didier Andre combined to put in more than 1,000 miles of testing Feb. 25-26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for the start of the Indy Racing ...

JINDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001 - Galles Racing drivers Al Unser Jr., Casey Mears and Didier Andre combined to put in more than 1,000 miles of testing Feb. 25-26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for the start of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Unser turned approximately 300 laps over two days on the 1.5-mile oval, while rookies Mears and Andre each turned approximately 190 laps. "It was great testing here at Homestead because the last time I was here was in CART, and I was knocked out of the race in Turn 1 and broke my ankle," Unser said. "So it felt good to have a good, strong successful test with the whole team. "The fans are going to see a great race because of the tough competition and close lap speeds that teams have been running. We have a good feel for our setup, and the weather was good while we were testing."

All three Galles drivers will compete in the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 on March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The Northern Light Series will come to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the second race of the season, the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami on April 8.

Like Unser, Mears has competed before at Homestead. But he indicated that the test helped him become more comfortable with an Indy Racing car. "I was very happy with our testing at Homestead," Mears said. "There is still room for improvement, but I think that for our first time at a track with new equipment we did really well. I raced here in Indy Lights three times, and I like the track as well as the fantastic facilities. I am looking forward to coming here in April with the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. I think that the fans are going to see a great show."

Said Andre: "I really needed this day of testing to get comfortable with the car. I feel much more comfortable with the car, and my speeds continued to go up in the afternoon. The team did a good job, and I am looking forward to coming back to Homestead in April."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Casey Mears , Didier André , Al Unser