IRL: IndyCar stars conclude test at Homestead-Miami

Teams prepare for Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. MIAMI, FL (1/10/03) - Three days of IRL IndyCar Series testing concluded late Friday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway as 12 drivers from eight IndyCar teams tested at...


Teams prepare for Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

MIAMI, FL (1/10/03) - Three days of IRL IndyCar Series testing concluded late Friday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway as 12 drivers from eight IndyCar teams tested at speeds consistently over 200 miles per hour. The teams were preparing for the Toyota Indy 300, the Indy Car season-opener set for February 28 - March 2, 2003.

Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway were some of the biggest names in open wheel racing including Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske, Sam Hornish Jr. of Pennzoil Panther Racing, Michael Andretti and Tony Kanaan of Andretti-Green Racing, Al Unser Jr. and Scott Sharp of Kelley Racing, Felipe Giaffone of Mo Nunn Racing, and Kenny Brack of Team Rahal.

According to Homestead-Miami Speedway Timing and Scoring, Kanaan was fastest over the three days with a top speed of 205.871 miles-per-hour on Wednesday. Other top speeds were registered by Brack (204.005), de Ferran (202.779), Sharp (202.323), Castroneves (202.247), and Hornish (201.945).

"This was my first test with Andretti-Green Racing and I was pleased with what we accomplished," said Kanaan. "I think we have a good starting point for the season."

For Marlboro Team Penske, Castroneves tested on Wednesday and Thursday, while de Ferran tested exclusively on Friday. Both drivers were pleased with their tests and look forward to opening the season in their native South Florida.

"We're already running faster times than the pole position from last year, so that gives you an idea of how competitive it's going to be and how fast we have to be when we come back here on March 2," said Castroneves. "It's always nice to have the atmosphere and weather that we've had in Miami. So if people miss this race, they are going to miss a good show. People don't miss it; it's going to be a good one.

"We had a really good day today, I wish we could do another testing here," added de Ferran. "I love it here at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is the home track for me, since we live just north of here. To have the season opener here it's fun, there's a lot of friends and family that come over here. Psychologically, it's great to have the season opener here, it's next to my home, friends and family.

Tickets Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway are available by calling (305) 230-RACE, visiting TicketMaster, or logging on www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Al Unser Jr. , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornish Jr. , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske