De Ferran debuts new Dallara at Fontana

Former CART champion Gil de Ferran debuted Team Penske's 2003 Dallara chassis, equipped with the new Toyota Indy V8 engine, at California Speedway this week

De Ferran debuts new Dallara at Fontana

The car hit the track just a day after the 2003 Panoz G-Force had made its debut at Texas Motor Speedway with Chip Ganassi Racing.

De Ferran said: "We have been able to get out in the new car prior to Christmas break. We are well on schedule and maybe even ahead on preparation plans for next season with the new engine and car. We haven't fallen behind at all, which is good. We have been concentrating on completing our own plan and hope it is good enough and that we did our homework."

Although both the chassis and engine are new for 2003, Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, is confident the team is well prepared for its second season in the IRL.

"It's been a bit different with IRL being a new series for us," said Cindric. "Last year, we didn't know what to expect. We've had since September to plan for the [season opener] in March. We have the new gearbox that was introduced in November, and now we have put the whole package together. The key is continuity for us. We have changed engine suppliers for next year but have the same team, same driver and same goals. For the most part continuity is there."

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