IRL: Michael Andretti leads rookie tests at Brickyard

Preparations for the 91st Indianapolis 500 got underway today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as seven cars combined for a total of 191 laps during Rookie Orientation on Sunday (May 6th. Michael Andretti's 219.871 mph lap, which took him an ...

Preparations for the 91st Indianapolis 500 got underway today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as seven cars combined for a total of 191 laps during Rookie Orientation on Sunday (May 6th.

Michael Andretti's 219.871 mph lap, which took him an astounding total of eleven laps to muster, stood best at the end of the day. Behind him came Ryan Briscoe, in the bright yellow Norton 360 machine with a lap of 218.216 mph, followed by IMS radio network broadcaster and veteran IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton whose lap of 218.022 came in a tour late in the day.

Although all of these drivers have run at Indianapolis before, the Speedway considers a mandatory re-test in order for anyone with significant time absent in the cockpit of an IndyCar. For the true rookie driver, there is a tiered four-speed bracketed progression that begins at 190 mph and ends at over 210 miles per hour.

Milka Duno began her true rookie test with a confidence-building seventy-nine circuits of the 2.5 mile oval here in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was Duno's first time to drive the fabled Brickyard and she left the crowd with a gently blown kiss of affection as they applauded and cheered her lap of 214.128 mph. She looked rock-solid from the pitlane and monitors around the track as she drove herself into the Indianapolis 500 record books this day.

Jacques Lazier turned in a respectable 216.467 mph lap in his Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda, while Jon Herb and the other "true rookie" Phil Giebler (in Lazier's car) trailed with laps of 211.697 and 209.387 mph respectively.

Practice and Rookie Orientation Program begins again on Monday (May 7th) at Noon EDT at the Speedway. The resumption of full practice with all entered cars participating is slated for Tuesday.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Milka Duno , Jon Herb , Davey Hamilton , Michael Andretti , Jaques Lazier  , Ryan Briscoe , Phil Giebler