Martin Plowman successfully completed his first Firestone Indy Lights test with Panther Racing at the Sebring International Raceway, completing over 200 laps in the course of two days.
The Briton, who has signed up for a full Lights campaign in 2009, impressed John Barnes' team as made an effortless transition to the Dallara from the F3 Euroseries machine he has campaign all year.
“I've had an awesome time here at Sebring, running my first laps in the Panther Racing car," the 21-year old commented, "I didn't have long to get settled in, but the team more than made up for that by really making me feel at home. We've all gelled really quickly - it's like I've been racing with them for years.
“We went through a rigorous testing schedule and I'm really happy with my progress over the last two days. The Indy Lights car is a lot more powerful than an F3 car, but is also a lot heavier, which makes you more conscious of how you manipulate it. A smooth driving skill is the key and, as the US Dallara is much less forgiving than an F3 car, so a slick technique is definitely required.”
Plowman immediately impressed the team during his outing, with Panther co-owner Joe Cain commenting on the rookie's quick adaptation.
“Upon the conclusion of Martin's first test, the team has been exceptionally impressed, not only by his speed, but his technical ability to adapt to the car and what is a new style of driving for him," Cain said, "We are amazed at how he has managed to instantly bond with his race engineers and applied himself to the task in hand. With the team already 100 per cent behind him, we are looking forward to good things from Martin this season - and to him capturing his first Indy Lights race win.”
With the first test under his belt, Plowman is eager to complete his mandatory rookie test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he will get his first laps on an oval. That outing is scheduled for 29 October.
"I'm really looking forward to my first run on an oval," the former karting champion admitted, "I'm heading into the unknown, but I'm certainly ready for the challenge and I will approach the test with no pre-conceived ideas.
"It's exciting and daunting, but I have complete trust in the Panther Racing team and I will be expertly guided by them every step of the way to the first round of the series at St Petersburg in April.”