Firestone Indy Lights News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — For a rookie such as Josef Newgarden, watching IZOD IndyCar Series cars testing at Barber Motorsports may have seemed as if he was a kid waiting for Christmas Day.

The young American is one of 12 drivers – nine of  whom are rookies — who will participate in the Firestone Indy Lights Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on March 16. The first race of the season is March 27 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

While he spent the day wandering the pit lane, he’s ready to take the first step in becoming an IZOD IndyCar Series driver by driving his own car.

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and getting in the car and learning this track,” said Newgarden, who will drive the No. 11 car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

While Newgarden is a newcomer to the series, Gustavo Yacaman is the most experienced driver in the championship, though he turned 20 a few weeks ago.

“Preseason testing has gone really well and we’ve improved the car every time we’ve been out this winter,” said Yacaman, who will drive the No. 2 car for Team Moore Racing. “I don’t see why we can’t be quickest tomorrow. It’s the first official event of the season and it’s good to scare everyone before the first race.”

By scaring the competition, Yacaman hopes to show he has the speed to be considered the favorite to win not only his first race, but also the Firestone Firehawk Cup and the series championship.

“This is the year that I have to get things done,” Yacaman said. “I have two years in the series. I know the cars, I know the tracks and I know the league. I have the best team, the best engineer and the best car. I have everything behind me. It’s up to me to get it done.”

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