Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport appears to be setting the bar early for the Firestone Indy Lights contingent.
The Colombian racer, who enters his second season in Lights and will also attempt to get a fifth Andretti Autosport machine into the Indianapolis 500, had a great two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway this week. On Thursday, he threw down the fastest lap of the day with a time of 56.1486 seconds, and on Friday, he topped the afternoon session with a lap of 55.821 seconds.
“I don’t see myself as the guy to beat at St. Pete or for the championship,” Munoz told IndyCar.com. “I just want to do my work as best as I can – my work with my engineer, my physical preparation and my mental preparation. If I do that well, the results will come.”
Munoz finished fifth in the Lights standings last season, with victories at Edmonton and in the season-finale at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.).
The Lights paddock will now head to Barber Motorsports Park for one more test session on Monday before making final preparations for their March 23 season opener in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on March 24 at 11 a.m. ET before the IZOD IndyCar Series hits the airwaves at Noon ET with live coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: