Firestone Indy Lights teams to test at Indianapolis April 11 With a two-week break between the street racing doubleheader at St. Petersburg and the superspeedway event at Kansas Speedway, Firestone Indy Lights teams have turned their attention to the series' biggest stage, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
More than 20 drivers are scheduled to participate in an April 11 Open Test on the famed 2.5-mile oval. That is, if Mother Nature doesn't interfere with the only on-track activity prior to the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 25.
"I'm really hoping we do get to test," said Sean Guthrie, who finished 11th in his Firestone Indy Lights debut at Indianapolis in 2006. "We think we have a good car for the oval at Indy."
The test is a chance for drivers such as Guthrie and his Guthrie Racing teammate Logan Gomez, Andrew Prendeville, Chris Festa, Marc Williams and Al Unser III to reacquaint themselves with the track.
"It's a prestigious track. It's such an awesome race to be involved with," said Williams, who will participate with Integra Motorsports, which won a Formula BMW event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course as Team Apex USA in 2006. "(Last year's Freedom 100) was my first ever oval. I feel as though I was trying to build confidence then and just picked up the laps then. Now I can't wait to have a test there and get myself prepared for this event. It will just be great to do it properly."
While some drivers will be re-acclimating to the track, several drivers, including points leader Richard Antinucci, will be seeing the oval for the first time. In all, 11 Indianapolis newcomers will get their first chance at the oval.
"I'm psyched. I've come to Indy three or four times for racing, but it's always been down the road at O'Reilly Raceway Park," said Panther Racing's Brent Sherman. "So to finally be able to roll into town and run at the big track is exciting for me. I was close to running at the Brickyard (in NASCAR) a few years ago but that didn't work out. So this is going to be interesting. Obviously, every race driver wants to run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in this series or any series, and now I'm psyched at the opportunity to do that for the first time Friday."
Sherman's teammate, Dillon Battistini, who won his oval debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway, hopes to repeat the feat at Indianapolis.
"I'm really looking forward to my first test at Indianapolis," he said. "It means a lot to me to have the opportunity to drive on such a historic racetrack. This will be the fastest I've ever driven anywhere, and I'm extremely excited about that. I know Indy is going to be a lot different than Homestead, but I just hope that our team can have as much success here as we did a few weeks ago in Miami."
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