Andretti’s Indy Lights drivers to test IndyCars at Watkins Glen
Dean Stoneman, Shelby Blackstock and Dalton Kellett will test the team’s IndyCars at Watkins Glen next month.
The August 11th test will see all three get their first experience of IndyCars, and for two of them, it will be the first taste of the 11-turn 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International course. IndyCar and Indy Lights will be racing at the Glen on Labor Day Weekend.
Stoneman, currently fifth in the Indy Lights title race with two wins to his name, will test Ryan Hunter-Reay’s #28 car and commented: “To be there testing at an iconic US circuit will be great. I have been watching the ‘big guys’ all season so I’m going to enjoy finally testing one.
“I came to Indy Lights with a view of moving up to IndyCar, the goal that I’m working on for 2017, so the test will give everybody some indication of my ability.
“In 2010 I was invited to test a Williams F1 car in Abu Dhabi and seemed to really impress everyone, so I’m hoping we can do the same sort of job with Andretti as I look to next year.”
Blackstock, an Indy Lights sophomore, will wheel Marco Andretti’s #27 car for his maiden IndyCar test. He has experience of the track from racing the Skip Barber Summer Series and the Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge in years past.
He commented: “Seven years ago I went to The Glen as part of the Jim Click’s Mustang Challenge team as a crew member. It was the first road course race I had ever been to and it was an eye opener. I did every job possible on the team in one weekend.
“Over the years, I’ve been a crew member, raced Skip Barber and CTSCC (Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge) there and now several years later after entering the track for the first time, I finally get to do my first Indy car test there.
“This is my fifth year at Andretti Autosport after completing the entire MRTI (Mazda Road To Indy) program with them and now finally getting to test one of their Indy cars! I can’t thank Michael and Andretti Autosport enough for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to get on track!”
Toronto native Dalton Kellett will use the #26 car of Carlos Munoz for the test. He observed: “I expect the biggest adjustments will be getting used to the braking and cornering performance. The Indy car is going to be much more physically demanding, but I have been training hard and I feel like I am prepared. I'm also looking forward to learning the pit procedures and feeling the increase in power. I haven't raced or tested at The Glen so this will be a complete learning experience for me, with a new car and new track.”
Team owner Michael Andretti said: “We’re proud of the role Andretti Autosport has played over the years in the Mazda Road to Indy program, and I applaud the efforts of the program in helping to develop future Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.
“By giving Dean, Shelby and Dalton an opportunity to test our Indy cars, we can help do our part in building a stronger future not just for our team, but for the sport and industry as a whole.”
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