MIAMI, Monday, Feb. 18, 2002 - 2001 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. and Marlboro Team Penske standout Gil de Ferran turned identical times of 26.72 seconds to lead Indy Racing League testing Feb. 16 at Homestead-Miami...
MIAMI, Monday, Feb. 18, 2002 - 2001 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. and Marlboro Team Penske standout Gil de Ferran turned identical times of 26.72 seconds to lead Indy Racing League testing Feb. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Hornish will try to defend his race title in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone on Saturday, March 2 during the season-opening 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami. It appears that de Ferran could provide some of Hornish's sternest competition on the 1.5-mile oval.
Nine Indy Racing drivers tested until nearly dusk Saturday during the track's Open House, as rain forced a four-hour delay in the start of testing.
"It was pretty windy," Hornish said. "We were just making sure that the car was underneath me all day. This track has similarities to Indianapolis."
de Ferran's top time in his No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone was better than his quickest lap during testing Friday, 27.03.
"Today was a bit frustrating but only because obviously we started late," Penske Racing President Tim Cindric said. "Throughout the day, the winds changed, and we found it a bit unproductive with the change of conditions with what we were trying to accomplish."
On Friday, 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. turned a top lap of 26.81 seconds in his #51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. He returned Saturday with a top lap of 28.00 seconds, while test driver Tomas Scheckter posted a quick lap of 27.53 that day.
"We're just trying to figure out the car setups," Cheever said. "The two-car team thing is doing very well. We're getting a lot of good information." <pre> TOP TESTING TIMES, Saturday, Feb. 16
No. Driver Team Time 4 Sam Hornish Jr. Pennzoil Panther Racing 26.72 seconds 6 Gil de Ferran Marlboro Team Penske 26.72 24 Robbie Buhl Team Purex Dreyer& Reinbold Racing 27.28 34 Laurent Redon Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing 27.40 52 Tomas Scheckter Red Bull Cheever Racing 27.53 8 Scott Sharp Kelley Racing 27.69 51 Eddie Cheever Jr. Red Bull Cheever Racing 28.00 91 Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing 28.06 7 Greg Ray Kelley Racing 28.22