Oval testing between IndyCar street races
IndyCar Series teams are busy preparing for the series first visit to the streets of Long Beach, but they’re also looking ahead to the race at Kansas Speedway on April 26, the first of 10 races on ovals in 2009.
Five teams used a portion of their allotment of private test days to test on ovals this week. Danica Patrick, rookie Mike Conway, Dan Wheldon and Ryan Briscoe tested at Kansas Speedway on April 8, while rookie Robert Doornbos tested at Texas Motor Speedway.
"I was very happy to go testing straight away after a race weekend," said Doornbos, who ran more than 100 trouble-free miles. "St. Pete is behind us now and we have to focus on a lot of things coming up and the first was the test at Texas Motor Speedway. It went really well in my opinion. It was the first time for me to drive on such a banked oval. We were up to speed very quick; a lot faster than I got up to speed in Homestead, so I am getting the hang of the ovals.
"We found some good things about the setup, so the engineers did a great job testing new items. The mechanics worked really hard to turn the car around from a street course car to an oval one. It was sunny but at the end of the day the wind kicked up and driving was a bit tricky; I had some small moments.”
Firestone Indy Lights driver J.R. Hildebrand also ran laps in Patrick’s car at Kansas as part of the bonus test program.