IXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing was still the fastest driver Tuesday evening in th e second of two long Indy Racing League Indy Car test sessions. His late afternoon time of 00:25.2919/211.372 mph held. All in all he ran 100 laps. The top three drivers held their earlier positions.
MARIO MORAES/No.5 KV Racing Technology was fourth overall in the evening. He is the only driver for the team at the moment. Moraes is spending a lot of time with his new team, trying to meet and remember everyone, putting things together, and getting ready to go. He said “It’s important to have a teammate, to push me forward. Everything works better. I spoke with Jimmy yesterday (team co-owner, JIMMY VASSER) and he’s putting things together. Maybe we’ll have a second car for the Indianapolis 500 and the rest of the season.”
Moraes is a good friend with BRUNO JUNQUEIRA. Both hail from Brazil. Junqueira is here this weekend, looking for a ride. Moraes said “I try to learn with him. He knows the car very well, and has good experience. I try to soak up his knowledge and experience. My goals for this year – not sure about the ovals. It’s more about the aerodynamics. I think on road courses I have a good chance.”
The only incident in the evening session was the caution to tow in ED CARPENTER/No.20 Vision Racing after he stopped on course. The evening session ended fifteen minutes early so TV partner, Versus, could do a production shoot. The Versus car was all tricked out in Versus livery and passed on the high and low side five or six Indy Cars, including three Andretti Green drivers, MARCO ANDRETTI, TONY KANAAN, and DANICA PATRICK.
Tuesday’s common thread was that all drivers seemed to agree that 2009 would be a very competitive season. All the transition teams have had a year to get their equipment in order and learn the new cars and circuits. The series would be more competitive this season and there will be less disparity among the drivers. All single-car team drivers felt that having a teammate would be better for the usual reasons – having additional data and others to test against. Rookie MIKE CONWAY/No.24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing said it will be more difficult for him being on a one-car team, it would be better to have a teammate, but it’s something “I gotta deal with.”
Conway was taking full advantage of the test session, turning 157 laps in less than four hours including the dinner break. He was fifteenth overall. Conway’s personal manager is former F1 driver, MARK BLUNDELL, who is at HMS with his young charge.
GRAHAM RAHAL/No.02 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing said the pressure was on him when he was the only driver lined up for the NHLR team. “It’s exciting we have cars now with good financial backing. I think all new drivers should ask questions. I’m of the opinion if a driver asks me, I’ll give an honest answer. But I won’t go out and share. Robert (ROBERT DOORNBOS, Rahal’s new teammate) will be quick. Rahal said this at 11 am Tuesday. By evening Doornbos had worked himself up to fourth fastest overall, before finishing seventh.
- SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing
- RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 Team Penske
- DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing
- MARIO MORAES/No.5 KV Racing Technology
- WILL POWER/No.3 Team Penske
- MARCO ANDRETTI/No.26 Andretti Green Racing
- ROBERT DOORNBOS*/No.06 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
- RYAN BRISCOE/No.3 Team Penske
- TONY KANAAN/No.11 Andretti Green Racing
- GRAHAM RAHAL/No.02 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
- DANICA PATRICK/No7 Andretti Green Racing
- RAFAEL MATOS*/No.12 Luczo Dragon Racing
- ED CARPENTER/No.20 Vision Racing
- EJ VISO/No.13 HVM Racing
- MIKE CONWAY*/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
- HIDEKI MUTOH/No.27 Andretti Green Racing
- MILKA DUNO/Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
- JAIME CAMARA/No.34 Conquest Racing
- VITOR MEIRA/No.14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises
- JUSTIN WILSON/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing
- STANTON BARRETT*/No.98 Curb/Agajanian/Team 3G