The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season finale is still two weeks away, but RLR/Andersen Racing recently conducted a test at Mid-Ohio to evaluate a driver hoping to raise enough funding to compete in the series next year.
Ron White successfully completed approximately 200 miles of testing on the 2.258-mile track in what was his first full day of road course testing in a Lights car, having run a handful of laps on the Homestead road course while completing his oval evaluation at the venue with Michael Crawford Motorsports in January 2007.
White said the test was a good opportunity to gain seat time in a Lights car, and is hopeful that he can put together a full 13-lap programme for 2010.
"We had a good test; the weather was on our side and I was excited to work with Andersen Racing for the first time," the 28-year old said, "I'd like to thank the team for the opportunity to gain some of the knowledge and experience that I'll need to compete in Firestone Indy Lights next year, and I look forward to working with them again. The team was very organised and everyone worked very well together, while the car had good power and was fun to drive."
Team co-owner John Andersen was pleased with the test, noting that White adapted well to the car.
"As the day progressed, his times got better and better," he reported, "We shared the day with some other drivers who had more experience in a Firestone Indy Lights car, and Ron ran competitive times. I think he learned a lot, and we were very pleased with him and how he handled himself in the car."
"Ron adapted nicely, never put a wheel wrong, and we covered all his objectives for an introduction to Indy Lights," technical director Walter Preston added, "After a night to reflect on the test, I'm sure, when he tests again, he will be able to be even more competitive. He was a pleasure to work with, and very professional."
"Walt was a good engineer to work with, as he would explain what changes he was going to be making to the car before he would change it," White said, "Before the test, I told him I wanted to learn as much as I could about how each change we made would affect the car. He did a good job explaining things to help me get a better understanding of how the team arrives at the set-ups it uses."
Mario Romancini will represent RLR/Andersen at the 2009 season finale on Homestead's 1.5-mile oval on Friday 9 October, and Andersen said that the team would conduct further driver tests in November.