IRL: Team Penske pit notes 2003-04-24

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes April 24, 2003 DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? With Opening Day of the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 just around the corner on May 4th, one would think that Marlboro Team Penske is taking some time off to enjoy the...

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes
April 24, 2003


With Opening Day of the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 just around the corner on May 4th, one would think that Marlboro Team Penske is taking some time off to enjoy the calm before the storm. However, that's hardly the case as everyone at Penske Racing in Reading, PA has been constantly hard at work for the past month.

Over the course of the next week, Marlboro Team Penske will have tested four different cars on two tracks with two drivers. The Team will participate in tests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and Texas Motor Speedway. Helio Castroneves will be testing the Marlboro Team Penske cars at both tracks, while Alex Barron will be testing at Indy. Barron is still assuming the driving responsibilities for Gil de Ferran who suffered two broken vertebrae at the Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Needless to say, the next two weeks will be particularly difficult for the Team as they work endless hours in order to make the May 2nd departure date to transport their equipment to IMS for Opening Day on Sunday, May 4th. The Team is preparing four Dallara chassis and four Panoz G-Force chassis for the month of May.

On March 26th Marlboro Team Penske began repairing the #6 Dallara that was involved in an accident during the race in Phoenix on March 23rd. Additionally, the crew was hard at work preparing a car for the Private Test at IMS this week. Here is a chronological look at what the Team has been working on for the past few weeks and what's in store for them in the next ten days leading up to Indianapolis:

* Wednesday, March 26th - Saturday, April 5th - The Team repaired the damaged car from Phoenix and prepared another car for the Indianapolis Private Test at Penske Racing in Reading, PA.

* Sunday, April 6th - The Team departed for the Japan race at Twin Ring Motegi.

* Sunday, April 13th - Japan Indy 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. Unfortunately, both cars were damaged as Castroneves was collected by the #55 car (Roger Yasukawa) on lap 45, and teammate Barron was involved in a late race accident when he brushed the wall.

* Monday, April 14th - The Team returned to Reading, PA.

* Tuesday, April 15th - Thursday, April 17th - The Team resumed preparing the cars designated for the Indy Private Test, as well as the damaged car from Phoenix.

* Friday, April 18th - Sunday, April 20th - Equipment arrived at Penske Racing from Japan. The Team determined that the #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota tub was damaged and its repair was put on hold, so that the Team could focus on preparing two additional cars for Castroneves to test at IMS. Alex Barron's #6 car was stripped and repaired in time to test at IMS.

* Sunday, April 20th (Easter Sunday) - The Team finished all necessary repairs and three cars left Penske Racing on their way to IMS for Private Testing.

* Monday, April 21st - The Team traveled to Indianapolis where they met their equipment and began preparation for the Private Test.

* Tuesday, April 22nd - Wednesday, April 23rd - Private Test at IMS - both Castroneves and Barron tested at the Speedway with both race crews. While the race crews were in Indy, the Test Team continued to repair, rebuild and prepare the other five cars at home in Reading. To help the Test Team, two members of each race crew stayed behind to assist in the restoration of the cars.

* Thursday, April 24th - Sunday, April 27th - Race crew returns to Reading so that they can help with the cars left at the race shop as well as prepare the cars that they tested at IMS.

* Monday, April 28th - Test Team takes a brand-new car to Texas Motor Speedway for a tire test. Castroneves assumes driving duties for the test. While the Test Team is in Texas, the race crew continues their preparation for the Indianapolis 500.

* Tuesday, April 29th - Friday, May 2nd - Test Team returns to Reading, PA and final preparations continue for Indianapolis.

* Friday, May 2nd - Marlboro Team Penske equipment is transported to Indianapolis for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500.

* Sunday, May 4th - Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Not only does 2001 & 2002 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves know how to negotiate traffic on the track, he also has a way with weaving through the ladies. Castroneves is featured in the May issue of Latina Magazine doing just that, in their "Imported from...Hot Men" article. In the piece, Castroneves reveals all - what he looks for in a woman, what a woman can do to press his buttons and the craziest things he's done in the name of love. Check it out on newsstands now for an inside peek into what this Indy Champion looks for in a woman.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Alex Barron , Roger Yasukawa
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske