Inotebook:/I Testing Continues

IRL IndyCar Series veteran Tomas Scheckter shared Vision Racing's Honda-powered Dallara with Ed Carpenter during the second day of the IndyCar Series' two-day test at Phoenix International Raceway Jan. 25.

Scheckter, who claimed his second IndyCar Series win last season at Texas Motor Speedway, recorded 71 laps with a best lap of 175.277 mph, while Carpenter turned 56 laps with a top lap of 175.073 mph.

"It's only a half a day test, and obviously the team is limited with tires," Scheckter said. "We just want to run some laps and see how it goes."

Though the team has not announced plans to field a second car in the IndyCar Series, Scheckter said he was hopeful the test would lead to more with Vision Racing.

"I've talked to (engineer) David (Cripps) and (team manager) Larry (Curry) and obviously (team co-owner) Tony (George) about adding me to the team," he said. "They want to add a second car, and they want to go about it the right way. They want to win races, so hopefully we can work something out."

Scheckter, the son of former Formula One champion Jody Scheckter, added he targeted a ride with Vision because of his desire to stay in the IndyCar Series.

"This is where I want to be," he said. "It's a great racing series, and I've put four years of my career into this. I want to see the series succeed, and I want to do a good job for whoever I'm driving for."

Andretti Takes to Phoenix Oval for Refresher Test
Michael Andretti, who will race in the 90th Indianapolis 500 in May, will test an Andretti Green Racing Honda-powered Dallara at Phoenix International Raceway on Jan. 26 as part of an IRL refresher test.

Andretti, who made four starts in the 2003 season before retiring to focus on team ownership, last drove an IndyCar Series machine at the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

"I'm excited for sure," Andretti said. "It'll be interesting to see how long it takes to get up to speed. Three years is a long time, but we'll find out. Marco is starting to go pretty quick now. I'm starting to get a little nervous that he's going to be quicker than me. That's not good. I just want to get comfortable again and hopefully get on pace. That's all I want to do is be on pace and get my feel back."

Matsuura Enjoying Switch to Dallara
The Phoenix test marked the first use of Super Aguri Fernandez Racing's Dallara chassis.

The team will field a Dallara for 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Kosuke Matsuura during the 2006 season, while sister team Delphi Fernandez Racing will continue to field a Panoz chassis for 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion Scott Sharp.

"Last year was a tough season for us," Matsuura said. "We needed to do something to make a change.

"This is the first run with the new chassis, but it seems to be good. We have to work with the car to find the ideal mechanical grip and mechanical balance, but so far we’re doing very good."

Early Season Confusion
Testing sometimes gives spotters and drivers a chance to get used to a new look.

For example, a sponsor change left Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti and his spotter Dave Reininger a little confused during the IndyCar Series test at Phoenix International Raceway.

"I kept wanting to go in the ArcaEx pit every time I came into the pit box," Franchitti said.

Franchitti, who drove a car sponsored by ArcaEx for the last three seasons, is driving the Klein Tools/Jim Beam entry this season.

Franchitti's spotter Dave Reininger said he has to pull his hat down to remind him that rookie Marco Andretti is driving the ArcaEx car this season.

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