IRL: Honda Test in the West wrapup 2003-02-08

Kanaan takes top honors at "Test in the West" Tony Kanaan leapt to the top of the speed charts as the 2003 IRL "Test in the West" concluded Saturday with a pair of practice sessions here at Phoenix International Raceway. The veteran Brazilian...

Kanaan takes top honors at "Test in the West"

Tony Kanaan leapt to the top of the speed charts as the 2003 IRL "Test in the West" concluded Saturday with a pair of practice sessions here at Phoenix International Raceway. The veteran Brazilian piloted his Andretti Green Racing Honda around the one-mile desert oval at an average speed of 176.783 mph and was just over a half mile an hour clear of the field at the end of two days of testing.

Team Rahal's Kenny Brack, who made his IRL debut here in 1997, was next up for Honda. After running second quickest Friday, the Swede focused on race setup work today and ended the test fifth quickest.

The remaining Andretti Green Racing entries of Dario Franchitti and Michael Andretti ran eighth and 10th overall, both unable to better the times they set during Friday's sessions. But Roger Yasukawa improved significantly, jumping into the top ten today, and 11th overall.

Today's action was the final preview for the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series season, which gets underway March 1-3 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.

Tony Kanaan (#11 Team 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda): fastest today and overall: "We have a really good car in both qualifying and race trim, and I'm very happy with the way everything went today. Michael [Andretti] began working with me and I can say that it really helped. Team 7-Eleven is a great team, they put a great car together for me. I think that working with my engineer Eric [Cowdin], over all these years [Cowdin and Kanaan spent five years together] also helps speed things up a bit. It's been a very good day."

Kenny Brack (#15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Team Rahal Honda) 5th fastest today and overall: "We were changing many things today, after a good day on Friday. I think we found a lot of combinations for the race. The Honda engine really felt strong today, so handling was the primary thing for us. Phoenix is one of the hardest tracks to set up for since it has two completely different corners. You want to be flat out through Turns Three and Four and then in one and two you have to be precise, yet delicate. I'm really pleased with how Team Rahal is working together."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Roger Yasukawa