Final opportunity for Indy Lights teams to prepare for season
Martin Plowman understands the importance of the Firestone Indy Lights Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on March 21. The English rookie knows it’s his last chance to prepare for the season-opening doubleheader at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 4-5.
“I wish I could have another test day before St. Petersburg, but this is it for us,” the Panther Racing driver said. “We’ve got to get the most out of the test that we can.”
Panther Racing’s two-car tandem of Plowman and Pippa Mann will be joined by seven cars from six other teams for the series’ first-ever visit to Barber Motorsports Park.
Other drivers participating in the series’ only test on a road/street course will be J.R. Hildebrand and Sebastian Saavedra (AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing), Andrew Prendeville (Team Moore Racing), Mario Romancini (RLR/Andersen Racing), Rodrigo Barbosa (ELFF Racing), Daniel Herrington (Bryan Herta Autosport) and James Davison (Vision Racing).
“Visiting Barber Motorsports Park is very beneficial to Firestone Indy Lights and I hope it will be to the teams participating in the test,” said Roger Bailey, executive director of Firestone Indy Lights. “It’s a chance to make a good impression in a place we’ve never been, while allowing our teams the opportunity to gain information that can help them later in the season.”
While nearly half the teams that will field entries this season will be testing on the 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course near Leeds, Ala., some have opted to miss the test and will concentrate on street-course setups with preseason private tests in advance of the St. Petersburg race weekend.
“I’ve never been to Barber, and I have nothing against the track,” said team owner Brian Stewart, who has opted to take his team to Sebring International Raceway. “But I know Sebring, and I know what I have to do there to prepare my guys for St. Pete.”