Malukas relishes the 'Rolls Royce of IndyCar' in test with Penske

Chris Owens/IndyCar

Malukas relishes the 'Rolls Royce of IndyCar' in test with Penske

IndyCar

Malukas relishes the 'Rolls Royce of IndyCar' in test with Penske

By

David Malukas has received a rich education in the span of a week after making his NTT IndyCar Series testing debut with Dale Coyne Racing at Barber Motorsports Park and following it up with a second test, this time with Team Penske on the Indianapolis road course on Monday.

Trading the No. 18 DCR Honda for the No. 2 Penske Chevy, the Indy Lights championship runner-up had three hours to become acclimated with the car and team to close the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at IMS.

“It was really interesting to be a part of the test, and it seems like we did pretty well,” Malukas told RACER. “What an experience. Just getting here and seeing ‘Penske’ across the trailer and walking into the trailer and putting my helmet on inside…everything was very surreal. And then getting into the car, that car is like the Rolls Royce of IndyCar. They have everything down to what the driver needs. The way they have the brake bias adjuster is perfect, and everything inside the car is like that. It’s just top tier.”

The 20-year-old from Chicago, who’s expected to race for Coyne next season, dealt with one issue at IMS that made for a few comedic moments while blasting around the road course.

“There were some variances in my lap times because we used by Indy Lights seat instead of the IndyCar seat we had made with Coyne, and I kept sliding down in the cockpit,” he said with a laugh. “So throughout the run, I would start falling down and not being able to see much; I had no idea if I was on the curb or on the grass. We were only doing six-lap runs, and each lap, it was just getting worse and worse. I was trying to tighten the belts on the front straight, but since I was sliding down, my feet were like all over the pedals, so mid-corner, I was accidentally adding a little bit of power and just messing everything up.

“So they moved the pedals back a little bit to try to help with the scenario, but we only had three hours and I just had to deal with it. And so with that, given that issue, I think it was a very good day. Beautiful team, great people. Anytime I needed help, they helped me.”

Going from a veteran mid-field team like DCR to the most successful team in IndyCar history offered Malukas an appreciation of how both outfits make the most of their resources.

“We explored all realms within these two test days,” he said. “Going from Barber with Dale Coyne, where it was an amazing test, probably the smoothest tests I’ve ever had, where everything was brand new to me, to going to the Penske shop where it’s so big it’s almost like a whole like city, and experiencing how they work and testing for Mr. Penske was an honor.

“Also going from Chevy and Honda. It’s the perfect kind of the experience for me to have. They’re both very great teams, and they’re great in their own ways.”

More RACER