Fontana, CA. (February 3, 2003) — Russ Wicks tested an Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports this afternoon at the California Speedway.
The IRL sanctioned event allowed Schmidt to evaluate the performance of Wicks, who set a best lap in the 177-178 MPH range. "I'm pleased with the speeds, especially considering Russ ran last years spec engine which is down approximately 35 HP from the other teams who used the 2003 spec engine."
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears acted as driver coach for Wicks. "Russ did exactly what he needed to do getting acclimated to the car and the track. He took small steps and paced himself, gradually getting up to speed, which is the right way to progress."
The Infiniti Pro Series follows the Indy Racing League to America's premier oval tracks. Powered by a Q45, 450 horsepower engine with a six speed sequential gearbox, the Dallara built chassis can average speeds in excess of 180 MPH on a 2-mile super speedway.
Traveling at these speeds is not a new experience for the Seattle native. Wicks is one of few to have traveled above 200 MPH on both land and water. In June 2000, Wicks broke the World's longest-standing major speed record on Lake Washington. His turbine powered, Unlimited Hydroplane set a new propeller-driven mark of 205 MPH through the measured mile. For his achievement Wicks is listed in the recently published Guinness Book of Records 2003.
Support for Wicks was provided by SuperGraphics, a division of GM Nameplate, the industry innovator in large format graphics. "We are pleased with our ongoing relationship with Wicks, and excited about the Infiniti Pro Series initiative," said Greg Root, President of SuperGraphics.
For more information on Sam Schmidt Motorsports: www.samschmidtmotorsports.com