English rookie Dan Wheldon took the No 26T Klein Tools / Jim Beam Dallara / Honda / Firestone out for practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday (Friday) for the final time this week. 24-year old Wheldon posted the sixth fastest time of...
English rookie Dan Wheldon took the No 26T Klein Tools / Jim Beam Dallara / Honda / Firestone out for practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday (Friday) for the final time this week. 24-year old Wheldon posted the sixth fastest time of the day at 227.960 mph (39.4806 seconds). The Klein Tools / Jim Beam crew continued to fine-tune its race set-up.
Wheldon made several long runs, turning nearly 250 miles (96 laps) while working in traffic. The team went back to the garage satisfied with its race set-up and will not go back on the track until Carburetion Day on Thursday 22 May.Scott Dixon led Friday's practice session in his primary car with a speed of 229.966 mph (39.1363 seconds). Dixon also set the third fastest speed of the day in his back-up car with a lap at 228.454 mph (39.3953 seconds). Tora Takagi was second quickest at 228.657 mph (39.3603 seconds). Wheldon's Andretti Green Racing team-mate Michael Andretti ran 150 laps in his back-up car posting a best speed of 224.507 mph (40.0879 seconds).Dan Wheldon has already qualified (last Sunday) to start the 87th Indianapolis 500 from the second row of the grid, in fifth place. He has become the first English driver to qualify for this classic race since Nigel Mansell in 1994.
After his final Indy 500 practice session of the week, Dan Wheldon said: 'The Klein Tools / Jim Beam crew has worked hard all month and they have given me a great car. Barry Green, who is calling my race, and Tino Belli, my engineer, are both great at keeping me relaxed and making everything fun. Working with Andretti Green Racing is great! By having three team-mates, there is a large baseline of data to work with and obviously we have great equipment to work with, as well. I think Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world's greatest race track and it is a pleasure to drive around but, at the end of the day, it is like any track we race on -- you want to go around it as fast as you possibly can.
'Barry Green, Andretti Green Racing Consultant, commented yesterday: 'I think we improved the car today and we got it to Dan's liking. All three (Wheldon's, Kanaan's and Andretti's) of our race set-ups are very similar and Dan was very comfortable in the car today. He worked in the draft and on fuel strategy today and I think we finished off a great week of practice here.'