For Immediate Release GORDON, CHEEVER JR., STAGE BUSIEST TEST DAY AT SPEEDWAY INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 27, 1997 -- Robby Gordon and Eddie Cheever Jr., racked up the most laps in a day to date with the new Indy Racing League cars...
For Immediate Release
GORDON, CHEEVER JR., STAGE BUSIEST TEST DAY AT SPEEDWAY
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 27, 1997 -- Robby Gordon and Eddie Cheever Jr., racked up the most laps in a day to date with the new Indy Racing League cars Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during a Goodyear tire test in preparation for the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500.
Gordon turned 83 laps in the Coors Light G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora fielded by Team Sabco. Cheever -- who didn't leave the cockpit for nearly five hours during the afternoon -- ran 119 laps in the FirstPlus Team Cheever G Force/Aurora.
It was Cheever's first day of testing the new IRL machines at the Speedway. Gordon tested two previous days. Exact top lap speeds weren't released, but Gordon was the fastest at more than 214 miles an hour.
The Goodyear test is scheduled to continue Friday.
The Speedway opens May 3 for USAC's Rookie Orientation Program through May 5. Qualifications to determine the 33 starters are scheduled May 10-11 and May 17-18. The "500", to be aired live by ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, is scheduled for May 25.
*** QUOTES: EDDIE CHEEVER JR.: "We could not take enough downforce out of it. It's way too easy...deceptively easy. By the 10th lap, I was flat-out all the way around. Normally, it'll take you three days. We did over 350 miles and what we have to do now is find more horsepower or rev the engine more." (about staying in the cockpit all afternoon): "Just getting ready for the '500'. The first time I tested for Ferrari at Firano, I kept getting out of the car. Mr. Ferrari sent a message down that you don't get out of the car until we're done with you."
ROBBY GORDON: (about differences in the new IRL cars from previous years' cars at Indianapolis): "I think the biggest thing is that we have less power, which makes you work on balance a little more, trim it out as much as you can. We still have quite a bit of wing in it. (about Team Sabco's "500" program): "We're a new team. Some teams have 2-3,000 miles of testing. We're just getting started and we're faster than most of them. We won the championship in SCORE last year and most of them (crew members) are from our off-road team. I worked with Kenny Anderson...he was the engineer when I first came to the Speedway with A.J. (Foyt), and he's our chief engineer and designer of the G Force chassis. We have two experienced guys -- Kenny Koldsbaek is our lead mechanic and Bob Temple is a data guy. I worked with them at Walker Racing. They're all doing a great job."