IRL: IndyCars roar to life at Daytona

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IRL: IndyCars roar to life at Daytona
Dec 10, 2006, 5:47 AM

At precisely 10 a.m. Panther Racing's Vitor Meira fired his Honda-powered Dallara, pulled from his pit stall and headed down pit road as the first-ever Indy Racing League IndyCar test got underway this morning at Daytona International Speedway. ...

At precisely 10 a.m. Panther Racing's Vitor Meira fired his Honda-powered Dallara, pulled from his pit stall and headed down pit road as the first-ever Indy Racing League IndyCar test got underway this morning at Daytona International Speedway.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon, Andretti Green's Tony Kanaan and Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. followed in short order.

Though not otherwise expected, the first couple of laps weren't exactly barn-burners - especially through the famed DIS Tri-oval - as cars tip-toed through the first couple of laps.

Indeed, each of the cars pulled into the pits after putting in single warm-up and "hot" laps, first on treaded Firestone "wet" tires, then switching to dry tires.

It wouldn't be long, though, before drivers started taking their cars to ever-higher speeds as Firestone, drivers and team engineers became comfortable with the 2.73-mile track.

Perhaps even better: paying fans started pouring into the Speedway's Nextel Fan Zone - until this historic day previously only the province of motorcycle, sportscar and stockcar fans.

Testing will continue until a planned mid-day lunch break during which drivers will be made available to make their thoughts known.

--DC Williams, exclusively for Motorsport.com

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