Scheckter Plans Next Move
October 23, 2002 | 10:00 A.M. EST
Scheckter tested the new Toyota Indy Racing League engine that will make its debut in IRL competition in 2003. Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran tested the engine Oct. 9-10 at the Speedway.
“It’s been going well,” Scheckter said. “I’m just getting used to everybody on the team and seeing how they work, and they’re seeing how I’m working. Really, we’re just trying to put some miles on the Toyota engine.”
Lee White, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development said: “So far, in all of our testing, and this is our fourth or fifth on-track test and our second at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s gone very well. We are extremely pleased and obviously very happy to be here with Chip Ganassi and
Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. It’s their first on-track test with this package and certainly being able to evaluate Tomas Scheckter before the season next year is worthwhile to all of us.”
Scheckter drove in 12 Indy Racing events for Red Bull Cheever Racing and led 443 laps in the 2002 season before he left the team prior the Gateway Indy 250 on Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway. Scheckter is weighing his options for
“At the moment, we’re just testing,” Scheckter said. “We’re sort of seeing each other, we’re seeing if I like them, if they like me. So far I’ve been very impressed. We’re just working with Toyota and doing a little bit of development,
and hopefully something will come of it in the future.”
Scheckter is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having led 85 laps en route to winning Bank One co-Rookie of the Year honors with Alex Barron at the 86th Indianapolis 500 in May. He was leading on Lap 173 when he made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 and finished 26th.
“I’m ready for next year,” Scheckter said. “Three, four, five days after Indy, I
was already thinking about next year and what to do. It’s over, and I just have to try to do my best next year and keep the same form that I did but just follow it through.”
While Scheckter has many options for 2003, he indicated he would like to stay in the Indy Racing League.
“The Indy Racing League is, I think, now the fastest growing form of motorsport in the world. It’s great racing, there’s a lot involvement, and I think a lot of focus on it worldwide. It’s increased massively over the past few years, and I
think it’s going to carry on.
“I think there’s a lot of stuff for me to achieve here in America, and I think I’d like to do it in the IRL.”