Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing continues preparation for 2008 IndyCar Series season : -
After the February 27 announcement that open-wheel racing would unify, moving forward under the IndyCar Series banner, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing switched their focus to competing in the 2008 IndyCar Series beginning with the season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 29.
On March 3 the team took delivery of the first two IndyCar Series cars that they will compete with and began preparing the Honda-powered Dallara chassis to be run on Firestone tires for the first of two pre-season tests for Champ Car teams transitioning to the IndyCar Series. A two-day test will be held on the Sebring International Raceway road course (March 19-20) and another two days of testing will take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway March 24-25.
Unfortunately the team is unable to participate in the Sebring test. Following are quotes from General Manager Brian Lisles and our drivers.
Brian Lisles, general manager of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: “Despite the best efforts of Dallara and the IndyCar Series, we still don’t have all the parts necessary to be ready in time to test in Sebring. It is a big disappointment for the team and an enormous setback because we will be losing valuable track time that will be difficult to recover. The team continues to work hard to complete the cars in time for the Homestead test March 24-25.”
Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 02 McDonald’s entry for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: “Obviously I am disappointed that I won’t be testing at Sebring. I was looking forward to trying out the Dallara for the first time and making some progress on our 2008 season. The circumstances have come about that we won’t be able to make it and I know the team will use the extra time wisely. They said right from the start that they will not put out a car that is not up to their usual high standard of preparation. It is reassuring for me to know that I will have a reliable car especially given the commitment necessary to compete on some of these high speed tracks.”
Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 06 entry for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: “It is disappointing to not be testing in Sebring this week but we all understand that this team has been used to sending the car out on the race track without any doubts in their mind that their preparation was 100 percent perfect. We have found ourselves in a position where this would not be the case and instead we felt that it would be best to focus our efforts on the Homestead test and race. This will give us more time to prepare for the busy upcoming schedule.”
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