Tony Kanaan set the pace at the IRL’s Test in the West session in Phoenix at the weekend. South Africa’s Tomas Scheckter set the fourth and seventh fastest times over the two days.

Tony Kanaan set the pace at the Indy Racing League’s Test in the West session at Phoenix at the weekend. Tomas Scheckter set the fourth and seventh fastest times over the two days.

IndyCar Series newcomer Kanaan, who was fifth fastest on Friday, set a fastest lap of 20,3639 seconds, (average speed 284,504 km/h) during Saturday’s session in the 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.

Scheckter’s team-mate Scott Dixon was second fastest on Saturday at 20,4261 - set in the afternoon session in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

"It feels great to be right at the top of the speed chart," Dixon said. "We made a huge jump in speed this afternoon. We were struggling to find the right balance, so I gave my engineers an idea that had worked for me in the past.

Scheckter added: "What is great about this team is that they are so focused on being fast and winning, and that's what I'm about, as well. Obviously, it's been a good fit for both of us. This week of testing has been very productive.

“The Toyota engine has been very competitive on both the oval in Fontana and this track here in Phoenix. We still have some work to do, but it feels good to be near the top of the speed charts," he added.

Marlboro Team Penske team-mates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were third and fourth on the final test day. 1998 IndyCar Series champion Kenny Brack rounded out the top five in the Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Two-time defending series champion Sam Hornish was the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in 12th for the Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone team.

Scheckter’s former team-mate, Buddy Rice, was unhurt and cleared to drive after hitting the outside retaining wall in Turn Two in the Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone minutes before the scheduled end of the first session.

The season-opening Toyota Indy 300 is on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Purex Dial Indy 200, the second race of the IRL IndyCar Series season, is scheduled for March 23 at Phoenix.

Original article from Car