MIAMI (February 7, 2001) -- A two-day private test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway concluded Wednesday, with Shigeaki Hattori continuing to improve with the brand-new Cunningham Racing team. "We've had a good test," said Hattori, a 1998...
MIAMI (February 7, 2001) -- A two-day private test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway concluded Wednesday, with Shigeaki Hattori continuing to improve with the brand-new Cunningham Racing team.
"We've had a good test," said Hattori, a 1998 Indy Lights winner at the Speedway. "We've gained good data, and ran around 193 mph yesterday. Today the conditions were different. There's more temperature, and when the temperature goes up, we lose downforce. Our goal today was to work on long runs."
This is the first year of solo car ownership for Clayton Cunningham, who has a history of successful sports teams in addition to partnering on several IRL teams. Hattori is entering his second season of Indy Racing competition, with a seventh place finish in the season-ending Excite 500 at Texas his best in five starts.
Also testing were Kelley Racing drivers Scott Sharp and Mark Dismore, and Bradley Motorsports' Buzz Calkins, who escaped injury in a turn four crash shortly after he recorded a fast lap of 199.8 mph.
"We were having a great test," said Bradley Motorsports engineer David Cripps. "Buzz was happy, the car was working well, and then he lost control in turn four.
"It's unfortunate," Cripps continued of the morning incident. "We were literally two hours from packing up today. At least Buzz is fine." Calkins won the inaugural Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World in 1996, and Cripps feels the team is ready to return to the winner's circle.
"Buzz won the first Indy Racing event, and we felt he would win the first race of 2001," Cripps said. "Now we've got our work cut out for us. This is a temporary setback. Buzz banged it up pretty good but it's repairable. We'll take a raincheck on the Phoenix Test in the West, but we'll definitely be back here for the Feb. 23-24 Open Test."
Spectators are invited to watch Indy Racing testing on Saturday, Feb. 24, with a free full day of activities, including Select-A-Seat for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami. Tickets are now on sale for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami, the debut of Indy Racing in South Florida, by calling (305) 230-RACE, or may be ordered on-line at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.