IRL IndyCar Test in the West Race Report

2/9/2003 1:51:15 AM

IRL IndyCar "Test in the West"

Practice Report

Circuit:

Phoenix International Raceway (1.0-mile oval) Avondale, AZ

Weather:

Clear, mild, 61-degrees F

.

Combined Practice Report:

Ps. Driver
Team
Manufacturer
Lap Time
Average Speed

1. Tony Kanaan

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
20.364
176.783 mph

2. Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing
Toyota
20.426
176.245 mph

3. Gil de Ferran

Team Penske
Toyota
20.448
176.053 mph

4. Helio Castroneves

Team Penske
Toyota
20.465
175.907 mph

5. Kenny Brack

Team Rahal
Honda
20.496
175.641 mph

6. Felipe Giaffone

Mo Nunn Racing
Toyota
20.523
175.408 mph

7. Tomas Scheckter

Chip Ganassi Racing
Toyota
20.577
174.954 mph

8. Dario Franchitti

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
20.646
174.362 mph

9. Scott Sharp

Kelley Racing
Toyota
20.647
174.354 mph

10. Michael Andretti

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
20.678
174.094 mph

11. Roger Yasukawa

Super Aguri Fernandez
Honda
20.711
173.819 mph

12. Sam Hornish

Panther Racing
Chevrolet
20.751
173.484 mph

Kanaan Takes Top Honors at "Test in the West"

Tony Kanaan leapt to the top of the speed charts as the 2003 IRL "Test in the West" concluded Saturday with a pair of practice sessions here at Phoenix International Raceway. The veteran Brazilian piloted his Andretti Green Racing Honda around the one-mile desert oval at an average speed of 176.783 mph and was just over a half mile an hour clear of the field at the end of two days of testing.

Team Rahal's Kenny Brack, who made his IRL debut here in 1997, was next up for Honda. After running second quickest Friday, the Swede focused on race setup work today and ended the test fifth quickest.

The remaining Andretti Green Racing entries of Dario Franchitti and Michael Andretti ran eighth and 10th overall, both unable to better the times they set during Friday's sessions. But Roger Yasukawa improved significantly, jumping into the top ten today, and 11th overall.

Today's action was the final preview for the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series season, which gets underway March 1-3 at Homestead- Miami Speedway in Florida.

Tony Kanaan (#11 Team 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda): fastest today and overall: "We have a really good car in both qualifying and race trim, and I'm very happy with the way everything went today. Michael [Andretti] began working with me and I can say that it really helped. Team 7-Eleven is a great team, they put a great car together for me. I think that working with my engineer Eric [Cowdin], over all these years & #91;Cowdin and Kanaan spent five years together] also helps speed things up a bit. It's been a very good day."

Kenny Brack (#15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Team Rahal Honda) 5th fastest today and overall: "We were changing many things today, after a good day on Friday. I think we found a lot of combinations for the race. The Honda engine really felt strong today, so handling was the primary thing for us. Phoenix is one of the hardest tracks to set up for since it has two completely different corners. You want to be flat out through Turns Three and Four and then in one and two you have to be precise, yet delicate. I'm really pleased with how Team Rahal is working together."