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Briscoe leads Penske 1-2 in Barber test

Twenty cars piled on 1025 laps during the day, with EJ Viso and Takuma Sato making a strong start to life with KVRT in sixth and seventh spots respectively.

"It was a pretty good day for the whole KV Racing Technology team," Venezuelan Viso confirmed, "It was the first time we had three cars on track and I think it was a successful day. I am very happy to be part of this team - with the little time that I have had with them, the KVRT crew guys have done a great job and I think we showed the hunger make this a very positive year."

F1 refugee Sato was making his debut in an IRL test, and shared his team-mate's enthusiasm.

"It was a great day," the infectious Japanese driver bubbled, "The KV Racing Technology car was reliable and, once I had got used to the way an IndyCar handles and how the track layout was, I enjoyed it. The day started off slowly, with cold temperatures and difficult conditions, but, by the end, we had a very successful first test. We went through some set-ups, which helped me to learn a lot, and we had a very productive first day."

Andretti Autosport veteran Tony Kanaan and former team-mate Hideki Mutoh, making his debut with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing filled the remaining top ten spots,

"It was a lot better than I expected, and it was good to be back in the Team 7-Eleven car," the Brazilian veteran remarked, "It's a tough track, and it takes you a while to learn it, but I think it was a productive day for us. We made huge improvements from the start of the practice to the end, but hopefully the weather will be a little bit better tomorrow, as it's our last practice day before the first race of the season, and we need to take advantage of it."

Mutoh was also pleased with his first day, especially having switched teams over the winter.

"The last time I drove an IndyCar was with this team for a one-day test at Sebring in November, so it has been three months since I was in a race car," he noted, "It took a while to get up to speed but, once I got there, the car felt really good. By the end of the day, I was starting to have good communication with my engineer Martin [Pare], who I knew when we were both at Andretti Green Racing, but it takes time because of my [English] and also I need to understand what they are talking about. But, so far, I am very happy. I feel the car has a lot of potential to do a good lap time."

While rookies Mario Romancini, James Rossiter and Simona de Silvestro made their debuts, others were missing from the test, including both Dan Wheldon and Alex Tagliani.

Wheldon's Panther Racing team decided to forgo the test at Barber and instead run at Sebring due to the cooler than expected temperatures.

"The inclement weather that's being predicted for Barber is not really going to be conducive to what we had planned for our test for São Paolo," chief engineer David Cripps explained, "Our current set-up is based on warmer environments in São Paolo, Long Beach, and St Pete, and Barber's not going to present that for us. We felt it would be more advantageous to get to Sebring and a warmer climate. Hopefully, Sebring will be more advantageous for our preparation."

First-year entrant Fazzt Race Team likewise decided not to run with Tagliani.

"We are in the fortunate position of having had very successful tests at Homestead and Sebring in January," general manager Rob Edwards elaborated, "Since those tests, our engineers have continued testing on the seven-post rig, gearbox rig and in the wind tunnel to further develop our race package and, given the inclement weather forecast for Barber over the next few days, we believe the best use of our time is to continue our preparations for Brazil here in Indianapolis."

A second day of testing is scheduled to begin at 9am local time today [Thursday].


Tagged as: Penske , Ryan Briscoe , test , Barber

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FooAtari .

February 25, 2010 4:10 PM

As usual ill be rooting for Franchitti being a Scotsman and all, but really surprised neither of the top two teams have tried to sign Wilson, especially Penske, I think he is a better driver than Castronves and probably Briscoe as well.



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