Rubens Barrichello passed his oval track rookie test at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday morning, and came away impressed and exhilarated by his new challenge.
Barrichello took to the 1.5-mile TMS oval for his IZOD IndyCar Series oval rookie test after KV Racing Technology teammate Tony Kanaan shook down the No. 8 Chevrolet-powered car. Fifty-five minutes later and after maintaining a steady 205-206 mph pace through three stints, the veteran of 19 Formula 1 seasons said he was "comfortable," but admitted he was still just getting his feet wet.
"It's different from anything I've tried," said Barrichello. "On my second run, after I broke the 200s, I was very rude on the radio because I was so excited. I said it was truly awesome, but not in a good manner.
"I am comfortable running, but I just need another 5,000 days to get it to the level of Tony. I've had places in Formula 1 that they say, 'There's a big corner that's a big challenge,' but the walls are never so close. I'm truly excited, but my mind is still processing everything from the 55 minutes on the track. I think as a rookie I think I did OK. I guess they [IndyCar] agreed."
With Kanaan and E.J. Viso on hand, Barrichello was scheduled to test from 8-11 p.m. March 6. But that session was put off until today.
"Tony told me a lot of things that helped, and I think he might have tried to make me cringe, too," Barichello said with a laugh.
The remainder of the day for all 11 drivers on hand will be dedicated to confirming the aerodynamic spec for the June 8-9 Firestone 550, and getting in laps on an oval in preparation for the Indianapolis 500.
"I told the officials to let everyone running close to me to give a margin because I'm still not so comfortable running just one lane; maybe one and a half lanes," Barrichello said. "I'm definitely a newcomer. It's an exciting challenge. (If it wasn't) I would have stayed home. I truly love this."
Source: Texas Motor Speedway