NEWMAN/HAAS/LANIGAN RACING DRIVERS DOORNBOS AND RAHAL SET SECOND AND SEVENTH FASTEST TIMES ON DAY 1 OF BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK TEST BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 22, 2009) -- Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) drivers Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos...
NEWMAN/HAAS/LANIGAN RACING DRIVERS DOORNBOS AND RAHAL SET SECOND AND SEVENTH FASTEST TIMES ON DAY 1 OF BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK TEST
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 22, 2009) -- Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) drivers Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos completed the first of a two-day IndyCar Series test today on the 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park road course. Reigning champion Scott Dixon set the fastest lap of the day at 110.5005 (117.446 mph) while Doornbos was second fastest at 110.6341 (117.224 mph) and Rahal was only one-tenth off Doornbos' pace at 110.7795 (116.983) and was ranked seventh.
"We had a pretty productive day and tried a lot of things," said Rahal, driver of the No. 02 McDonald's race car. "We had an error-free day which was nice and we learned as much as we could. We actually did our quickest lap time in the morning and nobody really knew about it because I didn't realize the timing line was at Start/Finish. But we matched it again in the afternoon which put us P7 but I think there is definitely more time in the car. The field is really close and I had laps that were a tenth and a half up on my best time but its unfortunate that I couldn't make it happen on those laps. We'll go back out there tomorrow and find a little more speed. We're learning a lot and our road course cars are getting more competitive than what we had last year."
"I was very happy to drive on a circuit that I am familiar with, where I can use my experience in setting the car up to my liking and getting to know the team better, because it's a whole new adventure for me," added Doornbos, driver of the No. 06 Dallara-Honda-Firestone race car. "This morning we did only 10 laps and the gearbox broke, so we had to wait a couple of hours to get it fixed. We just had to stay focused for the afternoon and make the most of it. We had a good setup and we got the car to my liking and did a quick lap time. I think it's very important to make a good first impression, because the team gave me this chance. They know what I can do. They know that I can win races, and I just need to prove it."
The IndyCar Series will continue testing here tomorrow.