The second day of the historic IRL IndyCar Series compatibility test wrapped up at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday.
The second day of the historic IRL IndyCar Series compatibility test
wrapped up at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday.
For the first time since a 1984 Formula One Goodyear tire test,
open-wheel cars took laps around Daytona International Speedway on
Tuesday and Wednesday. The only other open-wheel racing that took place
at DIS was USAC-sanctioned races in 1959 when the facility opened.
Drivers participating in the five-driver, four-car test were three-time
IndyCar Series champion and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish
Jr. (Marlboro Team Penske), 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan (Andretti
Green Racing), 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi
Racing), the 2005 IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon (Chip Ganassi
Racing) and Vitor Meira (Panther Racing).
Dixon participated in the first day of testing while Wheldon was behind
the wheel for the first time on Wednesday.
"I'm an avid fan of the Indianapolis 500 and understand the tradition
and history of that venue," Wheldon said. "It's a race that I'm very
passionate about. I think everybody in England knows that Daytona
International Speedway is assumed with NASCAR. To be here in an IndyCar,
I think for the drivers, it's fantastic because there's that history
there I think everybody respects. I think the people at the track do
everything to accommodate the different sanctioning bodies and races
that come to this venue. I think it¿s a race that everybody wants to do.
I¿m very excited to be here."
There was an incident during Wednesday¿s morning session as Hornish made
contact with the rear of the car in the chicane. The Marlboro Team
Penske crew repaired the car and he returned for the afternoon session.
Meira made contact coming out of the chicane in the afternoon session
and suffered enough damage that the team left an hour before the test
The teams have been utilizing a 10-turn, 2.73-mile road course
throughout the test. Late Wednesday afternoon, drivers shook down the
2.95-mile road course that the AMA motorcycle teams use during Daytona
200 Week By Honda to gather additional track information.
The IndyCar Series and Daytona International Speedway held the
compatibility test at "The World Center of Racing" to determine the
possibility of DIS serving as a preseason testing venue.
Wheldon hopes the IndyCar Series returns for not only testing, but maybe
someday, a race.
"I¿ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of the NASCAR guys and they
talk about this (track) just like we talk about Indianapolis," Wheldon
said. "When you get the privilege of coming to a track like this, you¿re
going to grasp the opportunity with both hands. I¿m very glad to be
here. I¿m not going to get my hopes up just yet but I very much want to
come here. I can just hope."