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.”
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