Toyota completes successful first IRL test. SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2002) - The new Toyota Indy V8 engine completed its first official test day at the Kentucky Speedway Monday, in preparation for entry into the Indy Racing League in 2003. The ...
Toyota completes successful first IRL test.
SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2002) - The new Toyota Indy V8 engine completed its first official test day at the Kentucky Speedway Monday, in preparation for entry into the Indy Racing League in 2003.
The Toyota engine ran close to 200 miles with two-time defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves behind the wheel of a Toyota Dallara prepared by Marlboro Team Penske.
"We're pleased with how far along the Toyota Indy V8 is so early in its development," said Lee White, Toyota Racing Development Group Vice President and General Manager. "While not getting too specific, our times today would have qualified us comfortably into an Sunday's IRL race here at Kentucky and the car appeared to perform even better on longer runs. Of course, we still have a long way to go before we're ready to race and there's a lot of work left to be done before Homestead next season."
Castroneves is scheduled to complete the two-day test session here at Kentucky on Tuesday.
"For just its second time ever on a race track, the performance of the Toyota engine today paints a very optimistic picture for the future," said Castroneves, who is currently second in the IRL in points. "It's good to be involved closely with the Toyota program and be able to provide feedback from the same track, in similar conditions with similar equipment that we used in yesterday's race. It allows everyone with the program to immediately see where we stand."
The early testing program also appears to be paying dividends off the race track.
"It's very important to develop a close working relationship with our partner Toyota right now to hit the ground running into 2003," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "We shook the car down and ran a systems check two weeks ago and it's amazing to see the improvement in such a short time. We're looking forward to providing our input with Gil (de Ferran) and Helio to continue to make progress in the future."