Sharp, Scheckter Dodge raindrops at Firestone Indy test. INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002 -- Firestone got an early jump on 2003 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race preparations Aug. 14 during a tire test with Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp...
Sharp, Scheckter Dodge raindrops at Firestone Indy test.
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002 -- Firestone got an early jump on 2003 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race preparations Aug. 14 during a tire test with Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp and Tomas Scheckter.
Sharp, driving the No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car prepared by Kelley Racing, completed a total of 161 laps and recorded a top speed of 222.530 mph.
Light, intermittent rain showers halted activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on several occasions.
"We ran a bunch of laps, even with the rain, and helped Firestone with a new compound," Sharp said. "It's nice to be able to help them out when they ask us to come do it. The Firestones are the four things that touch the road -- no matter how many changes you make to the car, those are the things that really matter."
Scheckter was behind the wheel of the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone car that teammate Buddy Rice drove to second and 12th-place finishes at Michigan and Kentucky, respectively. Scheckter turned 60 laps, topping out with a 225.791-mph-lap.
The team stopped testing earlier than expected due to a minor electrical problem.
"We could have kept running, but we had an intermittent (electrical problem) where, for instance, the rev limiter would kick in," said Owen Snyder, chief mechanic for Red Bull Cheever Racing. "It didn't slow us down, it's just if it happens in the corner you could have a little problem. You don't want to get too carried away at this place -- you've got to have respect every lap.
"(We) will get ready for tomorrow to do long runs tomorrow and assess all the tires they (Firestone) want."
Any amount of testing at the Speedway, any time of the year, can provide benefits for the month of May, Snyder said.
"It really does -- I would like to think we're helping we're working on picking the tires for everyone next year," he said. "Any time you tire test, there's something Firestone wants to change. They're changing the compound, the construction. Why else would they run? They're changing something. We don't know what they're motives are, but they picked the right guy for testing. Tomas is fast, he was the fastest guy here at the race, so they're getting a pretty fair test of what they're tires are, and what they're changing."
Testing continues Thursday with Sharp and Scheckter.