IRL IndyCar Test in the West Race Report

2/4/2003 4:18:06 PM

IRL IndyCar "Test in the West"

Practice Report

Circuit:

California Speedway (2.0-mile oval) Fontana, CA

Weather:

Clear, mild, 74-degrees F

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Combined Practice Report:

Ps. Driver
Team
Manufacturer
Lap Time
Average Speed

1. Felipe Giaffone

Mo Nunn Racing
Toyota
31.898
225.714 mph

2. Tomas Scheckter

Chip Ganassi Racing
Toyota
32.260
223.186 mph

3. Tony Kanaan

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
32.352
222.547 mph

4. Dario Franchitti

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
32.354
222.534 mph

5. Gil de Ferran

Team Penske
Toyota
32.355
222.525 mph

6. Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing
Toyota
32.377
222.379 mph

7. Tora Takagi

Mo Nunn Racing
Toyota
32.438
221.958 mph

8. A.J. Foyt IV

Foyt Racing
Toyota
32.533
221.308 mph

9. Al Unser Jr.

Kelley Racing
Toyota
32.574
221.030 mph

10. Helio Castroneves

Team Penske
Toyota
32.578
221.009 mph

11. Kenny Brack

Team Rahal
Honda
27.992
220.717 mph

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15. Dan Wheldon

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
32.847
219.196 mph

17. Roger Yasukawa

Super Aguri Fernandez
Honda
33.131
217.315 mph

20. Michael Andretti

Andretti Green Racing
Honda
24.449
209.005 mph

Kanaan Heads Hondas at "Test in the West"

The Andretti Green Racing duo of Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti led the way today for Honda as the company's new IRL IndyCar Series program made its public debut at the pre-season "Test in the West" at California Speedway. The test session, which is open to the public, will continue later this week at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona.

Kanaan's best lap of 222.547 mph just shaded his teammate by two-thousandths of a second as both men prepare for their first season of IndyCar competition. Meanwhile, Team Rahal's Kenny Brack ended the day just outside the top 10, setting his best speed of 220.717 mph in the morning practice session.

Michael Andretti ran only a handful of laps for photographic purposes then reverted to his dual role as team owner in assisting Kanaan, Franchitti and newcomer Dan Wheldon. Another series rookie, Roger Yasukawa, had his day cut short by a pair of minor mechanical problems aboard his Super Aguri Fernandez Racing Honda.

Tony Kanaan (#11 Andretti Green Honda) 3rd fastest: "We came here expecting to just 'run'. It was the first test for the entire team to operate together. So I have to be pretty pleased with today's result, even though my quick lap was the result of a 'tow'. But today was only my fourth time in this type of car, so it was mostly a learning experience for me today. And of course it helped to have Michael [Andretti] around. He was a big help in learning about these cars and this type of racing."

Robert Clarke (General Manager, Honda Performance Development): "Overall, we're pleased with today's results. It appears we're in a good, competitive position for the start of the season, and that will enable us to focus on the small details. The overall engine design seems to be good, it is durable and robust. Now, we can concentrate on 'driver tuning' areas such as driveability, fuel economy, a 'soft' rev limiter and the pit-lane speed limiter. We're pretty much where we hoped to be at this point in the season