IZOD IndyCars to test at Barber
IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams will have two Open Test dates, beginning with a preseason session at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.
The Feb. 24-26 will be the only Open Test before the season opens March 14 for the IZOD IndyCar Series and March 28 for Firestone Indy Lights. Both series will be on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway for testing before the first oval race of the season.
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"The way the 2010 schedule falls allowed for the opportunity for our teams to focus their preseason plans on the road and street course events to open the season," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League. "By shifting the oval testing portion to in-season Open Test dates, teams have the option of keeping their equipment in road-course trim until they are ready to focus on the oval portion of the schedule, including the month of May at Indianapolis."
The first four races for IZOD IndyCar Series and first three Firestone Indy Lights races will be contested on road/street courses, including the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 11 at the 2.38-mile road course in Birmingham, Ala.
"We are honored to have the Indy Racing League in Birmingham for the Open Test, which will be a prelude to the inaugural event in April," said Gene Hallman, President of Zoom Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of Barber Motorsports Park. "The Open Test will allow the drivers additional experience on the finest road course in North America."
IZOD IndyCar Series teams will test May 4 at Kentucky Speedway. Firestone Indy Lights will conduct a rookie oval orientation program at Kentucky Speedway on May 3.
IZOD IndyCar Series teams are allowed up to six private testing days and a minimum of 800 miles testing depending on the number of full-time cars fielded by the team, in addition to the Open Test dates. Teams can earn an additional 300 bonus testing miles by testing a Firestone Indy Lights driver at least 600 miles for a maximum of three private test days. Three teams will test at Sebring International Raceway next week.
The IZOD IndyCar Series season opens March 14 with its first race in South America -- on the streets of vibrant São Paulo, Brazil -- while the initial race for Firestone Indy Lights is March 28 on the picturesque St. Petersburg, Fla., street circuit. (press release)