IRL: IMS test day two report

Two-Day IMS Firestone test concludes with Sharp, Scheckter. INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2002 -- Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp and Tomas Scheckter concluded two days of Firestone tire testing Aug. 15 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,...

Two-Day IMS Firestone test concludes with Sharp, Scheckter.

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2002 -- Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp and Tomas Scheckter concluded two days of Firestone tire testing Aug. 15 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, turning in a two-day total of 387 laps.

Sharp, driving Kelley Racing's No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, completed 87 laps Thursday with a top speed of 222.585 mph. The team concluded its testing at approximately 11:30 a.m. (EST), having reached its goal of completing 600 miles for the two days.

Scheckter, driving the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, and the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew elected to stay for the entire afternoon, posting a fast speed of 225.248.

The combination of cool, partly cloudy and calm conditions made for a productive test, Scheckter said.

"The purpose here is to be with Firestone and help them develop a tire, so we just want a consistent balance for the car," Scheckter said. "We're trying some different compounds and constructions."

The team experienced some electrical gremlins again Thursday, similar to those that delayed their testing Wednesday. The team persevered and completed 79 laps today.

Scheckter said returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was exciting despite the bitter disappointment he experienced there in May.

"I tell you one thing, it is great to be back here at Indy -- just the atmosphere, although you're not in a racing situation," Scheckter said. "When we were here yesterday, just to go around the track again is great."

Scheckter, an Indy Racing League rookie, qualified 10th for his first Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in May and led 85 laps, the most of any driver. He also posted the fastest lap of the race at 226.499 on Lap 20. While leading on Lap 172, Scheckter made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4, ending his day and his Cinderella run toward the checkered flag.

He shared Bank One Rookie of the Year honors with Alex Barron.

Scheckter is not fazed by how close he came to winning The Greatest Spectacle in Racing in May and thinks any day at the Speedway is a good day.

"I love it here," he said, "and in my eyes I still had a great Indy. As a rookie, I led a lot of laps and I learned a massive amount. It gives me a lot to aim for next year, so I'm looking forward to it. I enjoy testing and I enjoy every lap. Unfortunately we haven't covered as much the last two days as we'd like, but we'll get that sorted out."

Scheckter, Sharp and their respective teams now are focused on the next Indy Racing League event this season, the Gateway Indy 250 Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway. The race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live on ESPN.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Scott Sharp , Alex Barron