Chinese rookie one to watch at Indy
Jeff Andretti knows Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a driver and now as a coach, and he couldn’t have been more exited Thursday to discuss the driver he’s working with this month.
"I think he's going to be one to watch," Andretti said of Ho-Pin Tung, one of eight rookies entered for this year's Indianapolis 500. "We'll try to have him fly under the radar, but he's super smooth. He's going to get better and better."
Tung, 28, is the first Chinese driver to compete for a spot in the 500, but he's not the only Dragon Racing driver to watch in this event. Month-of-May teammate Scott Speed has Formula One and NASCAR experience, and he, like Tung, a GP2 Series driver, looked sharp Thursday in initial oval-track laps at the Speedway.
Tung and Speed were among the six drivers passing their rookie tests. James Jakes didn't; he completed three of the four phases and should complete the final part Saturday when official practice begins.
The eighth rookie, Jay Howard, was not required to take the test because he participated at IMS previously. J.R. Hildebrand led with a lap of 221.533 mph.
Tung had the calm look of a veteran after completing 53 laps in the morning session.
"I know the team has given me a very solid package, everything for me to be comfortable," Tung said after finishing as the day's third-fastest driver. "On the first lap I felt comfortable." More at Indy Star