FRANCHITTI FASTEST ON FINAL DAY OF INFINEON TEST SONOMA, Calif., Wednesday, April 13, 2005 -- Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti saved his best lap for last as he led the final day of IRL IndyCarÂ® Series testing at Infineon ...
FRANCHITTI FASTEST ON FINAL DAY OF INFINEON TEST
SONOMA, Calif., Wednesday, April 13, 2005 -- Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti saved his best lap for last as he led the final day of IRL IndyCar® Series testing at Infineon Raceway.
Franchitti recorded a time of 1 minute, 16.1015 seconds, 108.797 mph, in the No. 27 ArcaEx Honda-powered Dallara on his final lap on the 12-turn, 2.3 mile road course. Helio Castroneves, who recorded the quickest lap on the opening day of the two-day Open Test, was second fastest with a lap of 1:16.4497, 104.610 mph in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone. Scott Dixon recorded the third-quickest lap, 1:16.4688, 108.279 mph in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone.
In all, 17 car-driver combinations recorded 1,000 laps with Alex Barron replacing Patrick Carpentier in the Red Bull Cheever Racing entry. IndyCar Series teams return to Infineon Raceway for the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix on Aug. 28.
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We learned a lot today. I'm very happy with the way the Marlboro Team Penske car handled, and I think we have a solid baseline for when we come back in August. It's a fun track, and I think we'll put on a great show for the fans."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/ Firestone): "Pretty good day. We did a lot of laps and we tried a lot of stuff we wouldn't try on race weekend. We covered pretty much everything we needed, and the car was pretty good in the long runs. We tried a lot of things, because on race weekends, you don't get too much time to change. I think it's going to be the same sort of feel here as it was at St. Petersburg. This is a very physical track. It's great for a driver. There is a lot of elevation and a lot of different turns that you don't see at a lot of tracks. It's kind of like Laguna Seca. It's actually like Laguna Seca on drugs. It's a lot of hard work."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We basically equaled our best lap in the afternoon with our last lap of the day. More importantly for us, we learned a lot. We had a long time this afternoon where we were not able to run because we had to fix some problems, but we still were able to get through a lot of stuff, which will hopefully put us in a good position for August. We all got a lot of good information today. It's always good to be at the top of the timesheet, but it's more important to get to work on your individual (testing) programs and get good results for the team."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "To be honest, I'm struggling a little bit with the balance of my car. Actually, I'm struggling quite a lot to tell you the truth. We really couldn't hit on something that I was 100 percent comfortable with. We definitely have a little bit of work to do, but Dario gathered some good data, and was the quickest of the test, so we'll be able to look and compare and see where we can improve and go from there."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We were trying to make adjustments to improving the handling of the car on the low speed turns, and I ended up getting loose in the faster turns. The backend came around on me, and I spun into the wall, ending our day. Obviously, I'm disappointed that we didn't get in a full day of testing, but we were able to make some adjustments to the Marlboro Team Penske car this morning and found a little more speed. We were definitely headed in the right direction. Now we just have to keep focused on what we need to do when we come back in August."
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Indy Japan 300 on April 30 at Twin Ring Motegi. The race will be telecast by ESPN at Noon (EDT) on April 30 and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 29. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 "XM Extreme." The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Futaba Freedom 100 on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 27.