Atlantic Championship runner-up Jonathan Bomarito may be poised to spearhead an influx of runners to the Firestone Indy Lights series after enjoying a successful first outing with the RLR/Andersen team at Sebring.
Bomarito was joined by Star Mazda stand-out Joel Miller in testing the team's two cars, and the 26-year old Atlantic racewinner admitted that he had enjoyed the opportunity to try the IndyCar feeder series as he weighs up his options for 2009.
"First of all, I'd like to thank Dan Andersen and his team for giving me a great test," Bomarito noted, "The car ran perfectly all day, and I was able to come up to speed and learn about it. We had a great day of good weather and sunshine, and it was fun.
"It was the first time I'd gotten to drive a Firestone Indy Lights car. It's quite a bit different than an Atlantic car, and it was a new challenge. I had to get used to the weight and the differences in the braking zones, but it was fun."
Miller, meanwhile, also received his first taste of the Lights car as the Andersen brothers lived up to their promise of giving each of their development drivers a chance to sample the next machine up the ladder. Miller also finished as runner-up in his respective series and, like Bomarito, enjoyed the Sebring outing.
"The car is a lot different than I expected," the 20-year old admitted, "With the weight and the amount of power under your right foot, it makes a driver be really patient. I'm pleased on how things went today though, being my first time in a car of this size. It was a huge learning curve, and now I have that in mind for future opportunities."
Irishman Peter Dempsey, who tied Star Mazda champion John Edwards with four race wins but finished third in the series standings with Andersen Racing, plans to drive one of the team's Lights cars for the first time at a future test, with the squad due to return to Sebring twice in the coming weeks. Pacific F2000 champion Jeff Westphal, third overall Atlantics driver Jonathan Summerton and British F3 driver Alistair Jackson were all slated to test with the team in Florida this week, and the team may also test on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway before the year is out.
"I'm very pleased with the overall performance of our teams, as the cars were clearly well prepared and our engineers worked very well with the drivers," team owner Dan Andersen added, "Jonathan and Joel demonstrated why they both had great results in their respective series in 2008, as they adapted very quickly to the higher horsepower Firestone Indy Lights cars and impressed us all with their driving and their feedback."