3 May 2015
Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Carpenter eager to learn about aero kits
IndyCar veteran, and double Indy 500 polewinner, Ed Carpenter is looking forward to getting to grips with the latest bodywork solutions ahead of the biggest race on the calendar.
Ed Carpenter hasn't competed in the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet since the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series finale in California, so the CFH Racing co-owner/driver should perhaps be forgiven for his exuberance over a pre-Indianapolis promoter test.
The outing will be the initial opportunity for teams to get used to the new superspeedway bodywork packages designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda and, although Carpenter joined Team Penske's Helio Castroneves in running the Chevrolet superspeedway kit on the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway oval in March, changes will be in evidence this Sunday as an Indy 500-only rear wing main plane is added to both manufacturer kits.
"We have this day on Sunday, which is going to be extremely valuable," said Carpenter, who has earned the Verizon P1 Award for the Indianapolis 500 pole the past two years, "Even the teams that did the lion's share of development for the aero kit in the off-season, I don't think any of them ran the car in the full speedway configuration like we'll have it on Sunday, and there's quite a few options that we have for the car.
"There's going to be a lot to learn. Even though the month of May is condensed from when I started my career, there's still way more track time than we get anywhere else - as long as Mother Nature co-operates. The one thing that's certain is it's the same for everyone, so whichever team and drivers can be most efficient and make the best use of their time certainly has the ability to get a leg up on the competition."
CFH Racing, co-owned by Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman, has three entries for the 99th running of the 500-mile Indianapolis race – with Carpenter joined by JR Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden, who won the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on 26 April.
"I think we'll see what we learn here on Sunday, and I think that will kind of set the course for how we attack the first part of the week once we get back on the oval," Carpenter said, "But the one thing I am looking forward to is that we have three great cars and I have two really good team-mates to lean on.
“I ran with JR last year and I know Josef has been strong at the speedway the past two years, as well, from being in the Fast Nine and racing against him there. So we have three strong combinations in the team, and certainly that should work to our benefit."
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