Adam Andretti Passes IPS Rookie Test with Flying Colors JOLIET, IL (August 30, 2007) -- By lap 50 of the 106 lap Indy Pro Series rookie test session, Adam Andretti had dialed in the No. 44 SpeedWorks car, and was up to speed and flying on the...
Adam Andretti Passes IPS Rookie Test with Flying Colors
JOLIET, IL (August 30, 2007) -- By lap 50 of the 106 lap Indy Pro Series rookie test session, Adam Andretti had dialed in the No. 44 SpeedWorks car, and was up to speed and flying on the 1.52 mile Chicagoland Speedway track, easily earning his rookie license in the morning session.
"With cool air and good air density, the car was very stable from the start," said Andretti who is returning to racing after a three year hiatus. "The SpeedWorks crew did a great job and I was very comfortable from the start. After the morning session, we spent the rest of the day making setup adjustments to find more speed so we can come back on September 9 and show what SpeedWorks and I can do as a team."
Andretti has spent the past three years working with manufacturers around the world testing new technologies like electronics stability programs, emergency braking assistance and all-speed traction control. This type of testing and training experience translates into knowledge of engineering and the ability to provide input to an engineer that is above the standard for most drivers.
"It is easy to see how Adam's ability to give and receive valuable engineering feedback will be beneficial to the team and to his driving performance," said Butch Meyer, Indy Pro Series Technical/Race Director, after the morning test session. b^0x001cThis ability certainly helped him come up to speed quickly today, and he was very smooth and consistent out there. Bottomline, he did a great job and I'm looking forward to seeing him in the Series and in the Chicagoland 100 next week."
An additional 105 laps were run in the afternoon following the rookie test in order to give Andretti as much seat time as possible and fine-tune the setup. At the end of the day, Peter Parrott, team co-owner said, "Adam did an excellent job all day. He hasn't been on this track before, and he played it very smart, starting off nice and easy. He had to find his line and find his feet, and that's what he did. After that, he charged ahead."
The Rookie Test Session
It was great. It's been a couple years since I've been in a race car. The race cars I've been in -- stock cars -- don't have this downforce, which is a lot of fun. I'm having a lot of fun out there. SpeedWorks has really prepared a nice car and has brought a good balance for a rookie like myself to get acclimated and up to speed, which has been real comforting. Real nice. I've enjoyed it.
Recent Driving Experience
I've been doing a lot of manufacturer testing for different manufacturers throughout the world; testing, development for them. I'm constantly working with engineers and always working on my craft as a driver. I've always been behind the wheel of something, but it's usually been street cars and then training on the technology we discover. So I've been keeping myself busy behind the wheel working with engineers, which is so important, especially when you make a come back to the racing world. In fact, this is something I really love ... being involved in the Indy Pro Series.
Reasons for Coming Back
Last July I made a commitment to myself. I started training really hard, because I wanted to be in open wheel cars. I enjoy stock cars, but I found it's not where the whole pieces of my heart are. I grew up 15 miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I want to drive in the Indianapolis 500. I know what it takes to drive in the Indianapolis 500. You've got to take those steps and the Indy Pro Series is the defining step to get to the next level; to get to the big cars, into the Indy Car Series. That's where I really want to be.
What's in the Future
The whole goal is 2008. We're here in Chicago to our rookie deal under the belt; get the test done so we can get a good balance on the car. If we can come back here on September 9 and be competitive, then hopefully the idea is to get our funding secured in the next month for 2008 so that we can get off with a bang next year ... run the whole season and put smiles on everyone's faces and have a good time.
The Andretti Family Legacy
I'm very proud of my lineage. I am proud of everything that everyone in my family has done. I talked to my Uncle Mario last week and he was giving a lot of advice and helped me out with what to expect from the aero when you're running in a crowd of cars. Michael and Marco were telling me the same thing. That seems to be the biggest challenge with these cars. On the drive up to Chicago together, my father was discussing some things with me. My brother, John, gave me a 'virtual' lap over the phone for Chicagoland. I consider myself very blessed that I have this plethora of individuals -- arguably the best racers in the world -- giving me information and helping a young driver like me along. They give me the confidence to come out here and perform.
Looking Forward to the Chicago Race
We have to get the laps in; we have to run all our practices and get to the checkered flag. That's the most important. The rest will take care of itself. We're realistic. We'd love to set the world on fire, but if it doesn't happen that way ... our bottomline goal is to make it to the checkered flag and see where it ends up.
Peter Parrott, President, SpeedWorks:
He did an excellent job. He hasn't been on this track before. He started off nice and easy, which is what he needed to do. He had to find his line and find his feet, and that's what he did.
We'll run in Chicago next week. We need to be realistic. Obviously, you can practice and practice ... and then you have to qualify. But when you start racing, you're out there with everybody else; 26 -- 28 cars are out there. Realistically, if we can get into the Top 10 then I think Adam will have done a great job. After that, hopefully we'll be able to put together a winter testing program.