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IndyCar open test dates update
The Indy Racing League announced Jan. 12 the 2010 open test periods for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, beginning at Barber Motorsports Park Feb. 24, the only open test to be held prior to the start of the 2010 season. An in-season testing day for both series' is slated for May 3-4 at Kentucky Speedway.

"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 Barber Motorsports Park open test is scheduled for Feb. 24-26, with two days of IZOD IndyCar Series on-track testing and one day of the same for Firestone Indy Lights. The test marks the second-straight season that both series' teams will conduct an open test at the scenic Alabama road course and the third visit overall for the IZOD IndyCar Series. The first-ever visit to the road course was in October 2007 when seven drivers tested at the facility.

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 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."

An oval testing day for IZOD IndyCar Series teams is scheduled for May 4 at Kentucky Speedway. Firestone Indy Lights rookies will join IZOD IndyCar Series teams for their rookie oval orientation program at the 1.5-mile oval May 3.

The IZOD IndyCar Series season opens March 14 with its first race in South America -- on the streets of vibrant Sao Paulo, Brazil -- while the initial race for Firestone Indy Lights is March 28 on the picturesque St. Petersburg, Fla., street circuit.
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