Pirelli confirms in-season testing schedule

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Pirelli has confirmed its in-season testing schedule for the coming year as teams give up one day of their own track time in order to work with the Italian tire supplier.

Following the testgate scandal that unfurled last May – where Mercedes was adjudged to have wrongly completed 1000km of testing despite there being a ban on it – it was written into the new regulations that teams could work with Pirelli on an official basis during the year.

Further to that, scheduled in-season testing has returned, with events planned following the races in Bahrain, Spain, Great Britain and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, each team will use one day from each test to work with Pirelli on its tire compounds.

Pirelli’s testing programme is as follows:

Bahrain
April 8 – Caterham
April 9 – Mercedes and Williams

Spain
May 13 – Sauber and Toro Rosso
May 14 – McLaren and Force India

Great Britain
July 8 – Ferrari and Lotus
July 9 – Red Bull and Marussia

Abu Dhabi
November 25 – 2015 tire testing
November 26 – 2015 tire testing

With an official testing calendar in place, there should be no repeat of the scandal that emerged at Monaco last year when Mercedes’ actions were revealed. Further to that – and more importantly – Pirelli will be able to get as much information as possible about the 2014 tire compounds, meaning that problems such as the multiple tire blow-outs at the British Grand Prix last June should be avoided this time around.

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

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