Road Course Open Test Practice Report

1/20/2005 10:05:05 PM

Circuit: Homestead-Miami Speedway (2.31 mile road course) Homestead, FL
2004 Winner: NA
Weather: Mostly sunny, mild, 70 degrees F

Combined Practice Times:

Ps. Driver Team Engine Chassis Best Time Average Speed
1. Dario Franchitti Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 1:10.174 113.374 mph
2. Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 1:10.422 112.976
3. Ryan Briscoe-R Target Chip Ganassi Toyota Panoz 1:10.442 112.944
4. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Toyota Dallara 1:10.490 112.866
5. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 1:10.574 112.732
6. Bryan Herta Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 1:10.582 112.719
7. Patrick Carpentier Cheever Indy Racing Toyota Dallara 1:10.694 112.540
8. Kosuke Matsuura Super Aguri Fernandez Honda Panoz 1:10.750 112.451
9. Tomas Enge-R Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara 1:10.853 112.287
10. Vitor Meira Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Panoz 1:10.859 112.278
11. Scott Sharp Delphi Fernandez Racing Honda Panoz 1:10.981 112.085
12. Tomas Scheckter Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara 1:11.005 112.048
13. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Toyota Panoz 1:11.018 112.028
14. Alex Barron Cheever Indy Racing Toyota Dallara 1:11.123 111.862
15. Darren Manning Target Chip Ganassi Toyota Panoz 1:11.132 111.847
16. Buddy Rice Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Panoz 1:11.183 111.768
17. Danica Patrick-R Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Panoz 1:11.219 111.711
18. Sam Hornish Jr. Team Penske Toyota Dallara 1:11.256 111.654
19. Roger Yasukawa Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara 1:11.889 110.670

Honda Drivers Lead IndyCar's Turn to the Right

Honda-powered Dario Franchitti led the way in two-days of initial road course testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the Indy Racing League completed final preparations for its "right turn" in 2005. For the first time in the League's 10-year history, road and street courses have been added to the IndyCar Series, with three right-and-left turning events added to the 14 oval-track races on the schedule.

An initial exploratory test was held at Homestead last fall, but only a handful of drivers and teams took part in that session. A full field of IRL series regulars - including all four Honda teams and 10 drivers - took part in this week's two full days of on-track action. Franchitti's Andretti Green Racing teammates Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta ran second, fifth and sixth, with Super Aguri Fernandez Racing's Koskue Matsuura eighth, and Vitor Meira rounding out the top 10 for Rahal Letterman Racing.

After a one-day break to make mechanical changes to the cars, testing will resume at Homestead's 1.5-mile oval track on Saturday, January 22. The 17-race IndyCar Season starts March 6 on the Homestead oval, 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 (#26 Arca/Ex Andretti Green Racing Honda): Fastest in road course practice: "We basically spent the last two days going through all the adjustments you can make to the car, and seeing what effects each had on the handling and balance. That's definitely one of the benefits of a four-car team, it allowed us to try many more combinations in the time we had on track. You also can see the progress Honda has made over the winter with the three-liter engine, as we were about a second quicker than at the [first IRL road course] test late last year."