For Immediate Release VELEZ BECOMES FIRST TO TEST NEW IRL MACHINE AT INDIANAPOLIS INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 6, 1997 -- Fermin Velez became the first driver to test the Indy Racing League's new formula at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ...
For Immediate Release
VELEZ BECOMES FIRST TO TEST NEW IRL MACHINE AT INDIANAPOLIS
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 6, 1997 -- Fermin Velez became the first driver to test the Indy Racing League's new formula at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today as a Goodyear tire test started track activity to prepare for the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.
Velez, who became the first Spaniard ever to make an Indianapolis 500 field last year, drove Team Scandia's yellow and red #33 Mi-Jack Scandia Alta Xcel Royal Purple Dallara/Oldsmobile Aurora.
Velez was the only driver on the track Thursday and ran only some warmup and systems check laps. The Goodyear test concludes Friday.
Stan Wattles, who has announced plans to become an IRL owner/driver for the 1998 season, got his first look Wednesday at the wind tunnel model for the new Riley & Scott chassis at the manufacturing firm's Indianapolis facility. Wattles is scheduled to take delivery of the fourth Riley & Scott car on July 7. The chassis is eligible to debut in the IRL after June 1.
"From a first impression, I think it's a cleaner car," Wattles said. "It looks like it's going to handle going through the air a lot better, which is really critical with these cars.
There is only so far you can go with the motor with the RPM limit and things like that (so) I think that the chassis setup and chassis dynamics are going to be very critical. From what I can see, there's definitely a better mousetrap in the making."
Wattles also visited the Brayton Engineering shops in Coldwater, Mich., on Tuesday. Brayton will build the new team's Aurora engines.
"It's an honor to work with an engine builder with such a great history," Wattles said.