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Rain dampens testing of new Indy-style car at Auto Club Speedway

February 15, 2012 |  2:52 pm

Two IndyCar drivers came to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana to test the series' new race car Wednesday, only to have the test washed out by rain after it barely had started.

IzodBut one driver, Charlie Kimball of Camarillo, said that was enough to get him excited about racing the new car around the two-mile oval where the cars top 200 mph.

"We did a few laps before the rain came," said Kimball, who drives for Chip Ganassi Racing and arrived Wednesday with teammate Graham Rahal. The new car "is going to lend itself to really good racing," Kimball said.

The Izod IndyCar Series is rolling out a newly designed Dallara chassis this season with safety enhancements, and teams have the option to use engines from different manufacturers. Ganassi is using Honda power.

"Everyone is figuring [the new car] out and going in different directions," Kimball said. As a result, "you'll see a bigger disparity" in how well different cars and drivers perform compared with last season, he said.

Auto Club Speedway also is a new venue on the IndyCar calendar this year, with a night race planned Sept. 15, currently the finale on the series schedule.


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Photo: The new IndyCar Dallara race car last September at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: Jim Haines / Izod IndyCar Series