Andre Passes Rookie Test

The third piece of Galles Racing’s 2001 puzzle fell into place Thursday afternoon when Didier Andre passed his Indy Racing Northern Light Series rookie test. He is now cleared to join Al Unser Jr. and Casey Mears at Galles.

Andre ran 180 laps at Phoenix International Raceway, where he will take part in the annual Test in the West this weekend.

"Today was a big learning day, especially since I haven't been in a car and on an oval since October of 1999," said Andre, a former Indy Lights driver. "Everyone was very helpful, and we really didn't do much with the car."

Andre also tested pit stops with the Galles Racing crew, something he hasn’t done before.

"Practicing pit stops in this series is different from what I'm used to at places like Le Mans when you're in the pits for 45 seconds," he said. "I feel very confident after today and am looking forward to our next test at Homestead."

IRNLS director of special projects Johnny Rutherford observed Andre during his test run.

"These weren't the most ideal conditions with the wind gusting," the three-time Indy 500 winner said. "He was consistent. He still has a learning curve, but Phoenix hasn't been an easy place to run and negotiate.

"He's demonstrated that he's ready to take advantage of the opportunity and get some seat time."

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