TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAMMATES LEAD OPEN TEST KANSAS CITY, Kan., Tuesday, June 13, 2006 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon paced an IndyCar Series Open Test at Kansas Speedway as teams prepared for the...
TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAMMATES LEAD OPEN TEST
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Tuesday, June 13, 2006 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon paced an IndyCar Series Open Test at Kansas Speedway as teams prepared for the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 on July 2.
Dixon, who participated in a private Firestone tire test on June 12 on the 1.5-mile oval, set the fastest time of the day, 25.3309 seconds, 216.021 mph, early in the session. Wheldon was just behind with a lap of 25.4855, 214.710 mph.
Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. (213.994 mph) and Helio Castroneves (213.258 mph) were third and fourth, respectively, with Kosuke Matsuura (213.258 mph) rounding out the top five.
A total of 2,810 incident-free laps were turned. Castroneves recorded 198 laps, the most of any driver at the test.
Rahal Letterman Racing took advantage of a full day of testing to get comfortable with the Dallara chassis it will use at the remaining oval events this season.
Buddy Rice posted the team's best lap 25.9869, 210.580 mph with teammates Jeff Simmons and Danica Patrick just behind.
"It was good to get a day of testing in with the Dallara," Rice said. "We have a lot of work to do to catch up with everyone else. Still, I was very comfortable in the car."
Helio Castroneves finished testing early then cheered on his native Brazil during the second half of its 1-0 win over Croatia. While other Brazilian drivers and fans Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira stayed out on the track, Castroneves was in the media center watching the game.
"It's a good thing we finished early, now I can watch the game" the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner said. "I don't follow soccer every day, but I am a fan when it's the World Cup."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We were pretty well prepared for today because of yesterday's Firestone test. We got a lot stuff out of the way yesterday. Today, we tried to run as much as we could in clean air because both Dan (Wheldon) and I had a lot of aero work to do for the mile-and-halfs. We're both pretty happy with our cars. They've been pretty quick."
DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "This test is important because it's our only test of the year, basically. We have about four hours at Richmond, but this the only true test we get. We've got to use our time very, very wisely and test everything we need to that will help us down the road. We also have to find definitive answers. That's the most important thing because we're working to make sure we have good race cars."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's perfect conditions to go out there and run consistent laps and see where you're at. We probably won't do any qualifying set-ups until race weekend."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Anytime you are on the track, it doesn't matter where, you always learn something. It's probably not as hot as when we come back, but at least you have a basic set-up. We're just trying to get a nice, solid run and come back here and adapt to the weather."
KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic/ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The test is very good since this is the first time we've had a Dallara chassis at the Kansas track. We are quite good, but the top teams, Ganassi and Penske, are a little too fast for us. We have a lot of work to catch up to them."
The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio at 8 p.m. (EDT) on June 24 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be televised live by ESPN2 and the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Liberty Challenge on July 1 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.