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DATE News (chronologically)
02/20/09
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Youthful group of Indy Lights drivers heads to Homestead
Winter private tests have been held and lap times have been debated. Now it’s time to find out who really has the car to beat in 2009.

Firestone Indy Lights teams will get their first indication when the series conducts its first Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 24.  As many as 14 newcomers will kick off the test with a day dedicated to rookie tests on Feb. 23.

“The key to the test for all drivers is teach them to hold their line around the track,” said Firestone Indy Lights race director Tony Cotman, who will observe the rookie drivers alongside four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, who returns as the series’ driver coach for the eighth-consecutive season.

“Some drivers may need more help than others, so it’s really more an extra day on track with Rick available to lend his expertise.”

The roster of drivers expected to participate in the test come from a mix of drivers who hail from around the world. Each is hoping to follow in the footsteps of 2008 Firestone Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos, IndyCar Series race winner Marco Andretti and Ed Carpenter in the IndyCar Series field.

“I am looking forward to the first Open Test of the year and seeing our drivers get ready for the season,” said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Firestone Indy Lights. “This has been an exciting offseason for us, and we hope to set the stage for an exciting 2009 season with this opening test.”

Car

Driver Hometown Entrant
2 Andrew Prendeville Morristown, N.J. Team Moore Racing
3 Sergey Mokshantsev (R) Moscow Brian Stewart Racing
4 Sean Guthrie Albuquerque, N.M. Guthrie Meyer Racing
5 TBA RLR/Andersen Racing
7 James Hinchcliffe (R) Toronto Sam Schmidt Motorsports
15 Martin Plowman (R) Tamworth, England Panther Racing
16 Pippa Mann (R) London Panther Racing
18 Junior Strous (R) Wassenaar, Netherlands ASR-Nelan Motorsports
20 Ana Beatriz Sao Paulo, Brazil Sam Schmidt Motorsports
21 James Davison Melbourne, Australia Vision Racing
25 TBA RLR/Andersen Racing
26 J.R. Hildebrand Sausalito, Calif. Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing
27 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Bogotá, Colombia AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing
28 Daniel Herrington (R) Winston-Salem, N.C. Bryan Herta Autosport
32 Brandon Wagner (R) Lafayette, Ind. Davey Hamilton/Kingdom Racing
37 Jay Howard Basildon, England Team PBIR
49 Jesse Mason Niagara Falls, Ontario Guthrie Meyer Racing
49 Nelson Mason (R) Niagara Falls, Ontario Guthrie Meyer Racing
55 Rodrigo Barbosa (R) Sao Paulo, Brazil ELFF Racing
59 Ali Jackson (R) Belfast, Northern Ireland Guthrie Meyer Racing

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