Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Final Day of Open Test at Indy ‘Felt Like Home’ for Kanaan


Tony Kanaan rolls around Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Open Test.
The pace was towards the top of the leaderboard for Tony Kanaan during the Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Image courtesy of Matt Fraver / Penske Entertainment

It was business as usual for Tony Kanaan.

The 47-year-old Brazilian put a methodical approach over the two days of open testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and ended up with the third-best overall time when it concluded on Thursday.

The No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was a fixture towards the top of the scoring pylon for much of the final day, with Kanaan logging 72 laps with best at 228.767 mph. Additionally, he was the fastest among his CGR teammates, with all five cars represented among the top 10.

“For us, we took it really slowly,” said Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner. “We’re a new team as far as my car. We had to just get everybody together in the groove.

“Obviously, the guys are working with me, I mean, half of them worked on my No. 10 car when I was at Ganassi. We just took it easy. We did a lot of race work, like everybody else.

“Obviously, my teammates did a pretty good job giving me something to start. That was pretty decent. It was an easy day really. I think we had a lot of information gather. The guys went through it. A lot of my guys are working on the IMSA side this year. Just to get really in the groove, get everybody working together.

“I’m comfortable in the car. It had been, what, nine months I hadn’t run. (Wednesday) took me a little bit, especially with the conditions. I was like, ‘Whoa’. (Thursday) just felt like home.

“So good day for us. Obviously lap times, nice to be here, but it doesn’t really matter.”

While Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion, is on the cusp of making his 21st appearance in the Indianapolis 500 next month, the approach remains as methodical as always. The majority of his time now is spent racing stock cars in Brazil, which meant the first day of running on Wednesday was spent getting recalibrated to Indy cars.

“We just really went through the list that the team had for us really,” said Kanaan, who finished 10th in last year’s Indy 500. “For me, the biggest thing (Wednesday) was just to get back in the groove of just driving the car and being comfortable. That was pretty much my whole day yesterday, which was shortened anyway.

“(Thursday) we just went through the list of stuff that we had to do for the team and things that we spread among the five cars. That was it. I mean, there was no time for Tony. It was time for us to figure out what the team needs and move forward.”

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