De Ferran tests Dallara IRL car at Indy

CART points leader Gil de Ferran spent two days at Indianapolis this week testing a Dallara Oldsmobile IRL car, fuelling thoughts that Penske will take part in the Indy 500 next season

De Ferran tests Dallara IRL car at Indy

De Ferran ran a best speed of 220.263mph in the open test, just a fraction slower than IRL front-runner Greg Ray who was fastest with 220.826mph. The Brazilian last raced at Indy in 1995. "The car didn't handle too well the first day, but we made it a lot better," he said. "Indianapolis hasn't changed -- this is definitely a tough race track."

De Ferran now switches his attention to this weekend's title decider on the Superspeedway at Fontana, California. He will be in his regular Reynard-Honda as he aims for his first CART championship title.

Penske Racing is tipped to return to Indianapolis for the first time since drivers Al Unser Jr and Emerson Fittipaldi sensationally failed to qualify for the Indy 500, also in 1995. Roger Penske's cars won the Indianapolis 500 a record 10 times between 1972 and 1994.

"This was the latest step in our evaluation process," commented Penske Racing President Tim Cindric. "We got in some productive testing, with Gil and with Helio Castroneves, from when he ran here a few weeks ago in a G-Force.

"The CART schedule has been opened up to allow running at Indy, and we are certainly taking that into account. There are a limited number of test days after the start of 2001, so we want to be in the best shape possible if we decide we want to enter cars in the 500."

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