IRL: Watkins Glen test notes 2005-09-16

TOYOTA POWERS UP FOR INDY GRAND PRIX Watkins Glen, NY (September 16, 2005) A test session exclusively for Toyota powered IndyCar Series teams was held at Watkins Glen International on Friday in preparation for the Inaugural Watkins Glen Indy ...

TOYOTA POWERS UP FOR INDY GRAND PRIX

Watkins Glen, NY (September 16, 2005) A test session exclusively for Toyota powered IndyCar Series teams was held at Watkins Glen International on Friday in preparation for the Inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage, September 23-25. The teams included Marlboro Team Penske with Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr., Target Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon and Giorgio Pantano, Red Bull Cheever Racing's Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier and Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter.

Most of the driver's agreed that their lap times are faster than their June test session due to cooler track conditions. The driver's shared their thoughts about their day at The Glen:

Helio Castroneves, #3 Marlboro Team Penske:

"Watkins Glen is very technical and unique. Hopefully, towards the end of the day, we will accomplish all of our changes and can have the best setup for next week. This is a different track with the elevation changes. Two corners here are 2nd gear while the rest are in 3rd and 4th gear. Timing here is tough. The distance you have to correct is smaller. We're faster by about .5 seconds (when compared to the June test session) because of the good conditions. The cool air helps. I hope we have a lot of advantages over Honda. When we come back, they'll have to catch up. Hopefully I'll be climbing the fence here. Once you climb the fence, you have to keep going. I have fun with it. It would be a thrill to climb it here and celebrate with the fans."

Scott Dixon, #9 Chip Ganassi Racing:

"The track is pretty quick today and I think we're over a second quicker than when we were here last time and I think we learned something's from our cars before. We're relying on this race to be our chance of getting a victory. Straight out speed wise I think we're gaining. I think that with the amount of testing that we've done here it will allow us to keep getting stronger."

Giorgio Pantano, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing:

"This is a very nice track. It doesn't look as fast as it is a first. It has very nice corners and goes up and down all throughout, so I really like it."

Patrick Carpentier, #83 Red Bull Cheever Racing:

"We're a second faster than last time. We think we can still gain a second this afternoon. We want to be run about 91.1 or 91.4, so about a second faster than before. I think people from Quebec will come down. I'm learning the track. The chicane and carousel turns are tricky. It's one of the nicest tracks I've been on. It's a high-speed track with banking that helps sustain momentum. The race should be a fun one, with passing on the uphill backstretch. It's long and with drafting it'll lead to some passing or a chance to take advantage of those making mistakes. Turn One should also be good for passing."

Alex Baron, #52 Red Bull Cheever Racing:

"We've picked up quite a bit of speed. We didn't have much track time before and now we're playing catch up for track time. This morning went well. The longer we ran, the quicker we got. A lot of places on this track need to be learned over time. I'm a little behind but I was pretty surprised with the lap times today. It's a great track. It's clean but complex. It should be exciting for the fans to watch."

The Inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage, September 23-25, will also feature the Menards Infinity Pro Series Corning 100, and the Grand American Rolex Series Crown Royal 250. For tickets, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 866-461-RACE, log on to the official Watkins Glen website at www.TheGlen.com, or stop by The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.

-theglen.com-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Helio Castroneves , Patrick Carpentier , Scott Dixon , Alex Barron , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr. , Alex Baron
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing