Mears fastest in Lights test

Champion team Dorricott driver Casey Mears topped the times in a recent Indy Lights official test session at Laguna Seca, beating Luis Diaz and Scott Dixon

Mears fastest in Lights test

Mears circulated the challenging road course with a fastest time of 1m15.981 on the second day, also topping the times on the first day.

"We have the whole package this year," said Mears, who was the only driver to break the 1m16s/106-mph barrier during the test. "We were missing a few pieces on the team last year, but now everything is in place with (new engineer) Burke Harrison and other members of the team. Plus, I have about a million miles at this place and I knew with the car halfway decent I could lead up to this."

Diaz, the second placed driver and 2000 season rookie, was all the more impressive for only having made two Indy Lights starts. He set a lap of 1m16.313s, averaging 105.576mph.

Long Beach winner Scott Dixon maintained his impressive run of recent form with third place.

At Portland the following week, five drivers also tested at Portland.

Rookies Todd Snyder, and Rodolfa Lavin in the Brian Stewart Racing cars lapped within one second of the Portland track record of 107.218 mph (76.112 seconds) set last year by reigning Indy Lights champion Oriol Servia.

"It was a real good day for us and we did about 100 mile with each car," said Brian Stewart Racing team manager Doug Hoy. "Todd hadn't done any wet weather driving in these cars and it was a good opportunity to get him going in the rain. We feel pretty good about our wet set-up."

The only driver not to test was Brian Stewart Racing's Soheil Ayari, who was committed to racing in the Silverstone F3000 round.

Ayari overcame heavy understeer throughout the race to score his first championship point of the 2000 season after finishing 14th in the Formula 3000 opener at Imola and retiring after an accident in the Indy Lights race at Long Beach.

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