The Dale Coyne Racing team took a close look at two upcoming stops on the IndyCar® Series schedule this week, testing at the Chicagoland Speedway oval in Joliet, IL and the Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma, CA. After three days of testing, which covered 2,100 miles of travel and hundreds of laps, both drivers liked what they learned.
Bruno Junqueira was happy with the results, after touring the Chicagoland Speedway oval for the very first time. The No. 18 Z-Line Designs car reached speeds that were competitive with last year's times.
"It was my first look at Chicagoland Speedway, so I am very pleased with my speed," said Junqueira. "We all learned a lot out there for our first private oval test, and I am really looking forward to returning here in September."
After the test session in Joliet, Junqueira, Dale Coyne and the team of engineers jumped on a plane for California where they joined up with Mario Moraes for two days of testing on Infineon Raceway's 2.26-mile, 12-turn road course circuit.
Moraes is very familiar with Infineon Raceway as the 19-year-old won there in 2004 at the age of 15 when he was driving in the Formula TR 1600 series. Moraes edged out fellow IndyCar Series driver Marco Andretti for the win in that race. Moraes drove the No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q car the first day of testing before his teammate Junqueira took over driving duties on the second day.
Junqueira turned in the second fastest time (77.57 seconds) on the second day's final session at Sonoma, just two-tenths of a second behind Ryan Briscoe, who turned in the fastest time of the two-day test. Junqueira was fifth fastest in the morning session.
"I really like this track here in Sonoma," Junqueira said. "We gained some great information for when we race here next week."
"The past three days have been hard work, but we have obtained good information for the entire team," said team owner Dale Coyne. "To test on both sides of the country at two different tracks gave us some good baseline knowledge for the upcoming events."
The IndyCar Series returns to action on Sunday, August 24 for the running of the Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway. The race can be seen live on ESPN 2 at 5:30 p.m. (EDT).
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