IRL Open Test Practice Report

2/10/2005 9:11:31 PM

Circuit: Phoenix International Raceway (1.0 mile oval), Avondale, AZ
2004 Winner: NA
Weather: Overcast, cool, 55 degrees F

Ps. Driver Team Engine Chassis Best Time Average Speed
1. Dario Franchitti Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 20.504 sec. 175.574 mph
2. Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 20.561 175.096
3. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 20.567 175.053
4. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Toyota Dallara 20.642 174.394
5. Scott Sharp Delphi Fernandez Racing Honda Panoz 20.657 174.271
6. Bryan Herta Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 20.681 174.072
7. Buddy Rice Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Panoz 20.692 173.973
8. Sam Hornish Jr. Team Penske Toyota Dallara 20.702 173.890
9. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Toyota Panoz 20.709 173.836
10. Tomas Enge-R Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara 20.752 173.476
11. Roger Yasukawa Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara 20.765 173.362
12. Vitor Meira Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Panoz 20.787 173.178
13. Darren Manning Target Chip Ganassi Toyota Panoz 20.830 172.823
14. Ryan Briscoe-R Target Chip Ganassi Toyota Panoz 20.835 172.784
15. Patrick Carpentier Cheever Indy Racing Toyota Dallara 20.845 172.702
16. Tomas Scheckter Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara 20.848 172.677
17. Alex Barron Cheever Indy Racing Toyota Dallara 20.866 172.524
18. Kosuke Matsuura Super Aguri Fernandez Honda Panoz 20.874 172.463
19. Danica Patrick-R Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Panoz 21.073 170.827
20. A.J. Foyt IV A.J. Foyt Racing Toyota Dallara 21.344 168.662

Honda Drivers Lead Final IRL Pre-Season Test

Honda-powered drivers claimed the top three positions - and six of the top seven spots - in two days of pre-season Indy Racing League testing this week at Phoenix International Raceway. It was the final IndyCar Series test prior to the start of 2005 season next month at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Dario Franchitti led two of his Andretti Green Racing teammates, Dan Wheldon and defending series champion Tony Kanaan, at the top of the combined time sheets. Veteran Scott Sharp continued his run of strong pre-season showings for Delphi Fernandez Racing with the fifth-quickest speed of the test, followed by Bryan Herta in the final Andretti Green Racing entry.

Defending Indy 500 champion Buddy Rice in the quickest of three Rahal Letterman Racing entries in seventh, with Roger Yasukawa leading the single-car Dreyer & Reinbold team to 11th overall. The 17-race IndyCar season starts March 6 at Homestead, with the first street-circuit event in series history taking place April 3 at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the west coast of Florida.

Dario Franchitti (#27 ArcaEx Andretti Green Racing Honda) Fastest practice: "The [fastest] posted speed is just an indicator of our qualifying set-up, and that's obviously good! But we had a long list of things to test here, and simulated qualifying runs were only one of those items. But I got to do a couple of race simulations as well over the course of the test. There's still a bit of work to do before the season starts, but I'm very pleased with the progress we've made so far. Once again, Honda's done a great job in the off-season. They've continued to work hard and improve the engine, and we've seen considerable progress since the end of last year."