Barber Motorsports Park to host Preseason Open Test
IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams will continue preparations for the 2011 season with an Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on March 14-16.
The first four races of the IZOD IndyCar Series will be competed on road/street courses, including the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 10.
IZOD IndyCar Series teams will be on the 2.38-mile circuit that features 80 feet of elevation change March 14-15. Firestone Indy Lights teams will be joined by Star Mazda teams on the track March 16.
"This continues to strengthen our relationship with INDYCAR," said Gene Hallman, President of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of Barber Motorsports Park. "We are pleased to have the IZOD IndyCar Series back again to test at our facility, and we hope that it provides more opportunity to promote the event in April. Barber Motorsports Park is a very technical track and the more familiar the drivers get with the layout, the better the racing will be."
Team Penske's Helio Castroneves won the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series event at the track in Birmingham, Ala., last April, holding off two-time series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing by 0.5703 of a second.
"It's a track I really enjoy driving," said Charlie Kimball, who will see his first track time during the Open Test in the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car. "I'll have all the depth of the Chip Ganassi Racing team there to draw on. It's a question of getting comfortable in the car, learning as quickly as possible and moving forward."
American Honda Motor Company announced Sept. 9 that it will be the title sponsor of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union through 2013. A 3.5 million-square-foot Honda Manufacturing of Alabama facility in nearby Lincoln employs more than 4,000 associates at its vehicle and engine operation.
An oval Open Test will be conducted May 9-10 at Kentucky Speedway before the first oval race of the season -- the Indianapolis 500.
The season opener for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights is March 27 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.