Full house: Drivers test at Mid-Ohio

By Dave Lewandowski

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Seventeen driver/car combinations were on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course July 29 to prepare for the Aug. 6-8 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance.

All four Andretti Autosport drivers (Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick) were joined by reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing; KV Racing’s Mario Moraes, Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso; Simona de Silvestro of Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing; Dan Wheldon of Panther Racing; Raphael Matos of de Ferran Dragon Racing; Bertrand Baguette of Conquest Racing; Milka Duno of Dale Coyne Racing; and Justin Wilson and J.R. Hildebrand from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

Additionally, Francesco Dracone was in the No. 34 Conquest Racing car for his rookie test under the watchful eyes of IZOD IndyCar Series driver coach Al Unser Jr. and series technical director Kevin Blanch.

Alex Lloyd, driver of the No. 19 Boys Scouts of America car for Dale Coyne Racing, took a few early laps to set up the car for Duno in the afternoon.

“The engineers had a pretty full list of items to test, and we have to take the time and use the opportunity to evaluate those items so we have a stronger baseline entering the race weekend,” said Matos, who also tested at Mid-Ohio on June 30. “We don’t get the opportunity to test that often, so being in the car as much as possible is important.”

In addition, Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon participated in a carbon fiber brake test at the request of the sanctioning body for potential use in the 2012 IndyCar Safety Cell.

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