IndyCar » 9 May 2010
Hamilton returns to Texas for pre-race test
can win these two at almost mid-season, it can be a pivotal point to going on and winning the championship. Not saying that the two winners always win the championship, but it definitely helps a lot with the team morale.”
A win at Texas Motor Speedway has eluded both Briscoe and Andretti. For the Australian, victory slipped out of his grasp during last year's race. He dominated the Bombardier Learjet 550k, leading a race-high 160 of 228 laps, but a disappointing final pit-stop put him just behind Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves and could never retake the lead.
Briscoe, who is winless on the season, feels the test session can help him secure his first TMS victory and prepare him for one of the IndyCar Series most physically
demanding races on the schedule.
“It's good when you have a good car,” he said, “It gives you a lot of confidence when you can run wherever you want to and pass cars whether it's the high side or low side. The racing is always so close. It's at night-time, which makes it feel a little bit faster too. And it's not very smooth around here either - at the end of a race here, if you've been working all night, you certainly sleep well.”
For Andretti, the test could be a much-needed boost for a driver who currently sits 13th in the IndyCar Series point standings. The 23-year old has just one top-five finish on the season, which came at Barber Motorsports Park, but he posted personal bests for starting (eighth) and finishing (fourth) positions in last year's race at Texas, and the test could provide some valuable data and an edge for his return in June.
“The moment you say you have something figured out, you don't,” Andretti said, “It's different every year. This year, as far as competition, it's as tight as it's been. The teams and drivers are at the top of their games. Every year, it's like starting over. There is always some little rule that kind of makes you adjust a lot of other things. We've run well here in the past. In '08, we almost had a shot to win against Dixon, but you have to do everything right now these days to even have a shot at it at the end of the race. That's what makes it interesting.”
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