IRL: Indy 500: AGR puts Herta in for day four practice

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 7, 2003) -- In his first run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the 1995 Indy 500, Michigan native Bryan Herta strapped into the ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 7, 2003) -- In his first run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the 1995 Indy 500, Michigan native Bryan Herta strapped into the #27T Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone on Wednesday and posted a best speed of 225.380 miles per hour (39.9326 seconds) in 53 laps around the 2.5-mile Brickyard.

Herta used today's practice session to familiarize himself with the IRL IndyCar Series car, as well as to get comfortable in the car he will be running at Texas Motor Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway this June. Herta is the team's backup driver in the event a rain delay forces Robby Gordon to leave Indianapolis for the NASCAR race in Charlotte, NC on Sunday, May 25.

Gordon will return to the car tomorrow to continue practicing for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. Herta's next appearance behind the wheel of the Archipelago/Motorola entry will be on Monday, May 12, in a test session at Pikes Peak.

Former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack topped the practice chart on Wednesday with a quick lap of 231.0390 miles per hour (38.9544 seconds) and was followed by Scott Sharp at 230.1100 (39.1118 seconds). Gil de Ferran clocked in third fastest at 229.8840 miles per hour (39.1501 seconds), while Greg Ray was fourth at 229.5390 (39.2091 seconds). Fellow Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan posted the fifth best lap Wednesday in just his second day of action since returning from injury, circling Indianapolis at 229.4550 miles per hour (39.2234 seconds).

Practice continues tomorrow at Indianapolis in preparation for Saturday's "pole day" qualifying session. The Indy 500 is slated to go green at 12 p.m. EDT and will air live on ABC Sports.

Bryan Herta #27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"From my perspective today went perfect. I was able to get comfortable in the Archipelago/Motorola car and run flat out. We started out with a lot of downforce and then trimmed it out a little. I was able to give the team some feedback so I felt like I could contribute some on the setup as well. I needed to run some laps at Indy because if something happened with the weather and Robby (Gordon) couldn't start or couldn't finish the race, you don't want to jump in here with out having some laps. Today also gave me a chance to get ready for my test next week."

Kyle Moyer , Team Manager, Archipelago/Motorola

"We had a chance to get Bryan in the car today because Robby had another commitment. It was good to get Bryan in the car and get him comfortable so when we go to Pikes Peak next week to test, we can get right into our program. Plus he hasn't been in a car like this for a while so it allowed him to get comfortable. In the long run, I'm sure this is going to prove to be a good choice."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Greg Ray , Scott Sharp , Gil de Ferran , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack