New team. New car. New teammate. New race engineer. The laundry list of new items to process for Santino Ferrucci at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was quite long at the start of the two-day Indy Open Test, and by its end, the month of May operation made its presence felt at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It’s only testing, of course, and there’s no reason to make bold predictions about how Dennis Reinbold’s Chevy-powered group will fare when we return in a few weeks to start practice for the Indy 500, but there’s clearly something good going on at DRR.
“We were just coming here to get laps and to learn the car for me, obviously get settled into the team,” Ferrucci told RACER after he and Sage Karam finished 12th and 13th among the 31 drivers on Thursday. “So far, so good all the way through. We’re really happy with the cars and how we finished up. I mean, we didn’t trim at all to finish the day like everyone else, so it was good to end up back to back with essentially the same car. It’s very, very encouraging. So especially knowing that we have quite a bit more to bring to the table when we come back.”
Ferrucci worked with race engineer Charlie Ping and had 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice on his timing stand.
“I gotta laugh, because the first day, learning the communication, learning the way everybody’s working, all the new faces, the first day was pretty huge because it went so well and it took a lot of stress and pressure off of me,” he said. “It really greased the wheels, because to be in the top five all day yesterday, finished in P4, just made coming into today all that much better.
“And then to have two cars right next to each other today, we feel pretty good all together as a group, considering were able to do that in two days. It’s impressive. I’m really happy with the atmosphere here. It was nice to get be able to get into a really smooth rhythm in such a short period of time and we’ve just got to carry the momentum into May. That’s going to be the biggest thing.”