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Old 16 Sep 2002, 18:49 (Ref:381778)   #1
macdaddy
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macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!
Helio gets his big chance

http://www.indystar.com/article.php?irlnotes16.html

An upcoming Formula One test for Helio Castroneves comes not only with team owner Roger Penske's consent but with his assistance.

Penske used his connections at Toyota to get Castroneves the test. The driver is leaving for France today. (Sept16)

But Penske said if the popular Brazilian wants to try F1, he never would hold a driver back.

"If he can find a good F1 ride," Penske said, "we would certainly let him out of his contract."
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Old 16 Sep 2002, 23:20 (Ref:382007)   #2
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Flatspot should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I hope Helio kicks butt and gets an F1 ride.

It would be interesting to know how much Penske will ask to let him out of his contract if Helio does well.
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Old 17 Sep 2002, 00:21 (Ref:382036)   #3
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paul-collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridpaul-collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridpaul-collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
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Old 17 Sep 2002, 07:04 (Ref:382149)   #4
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Even with my distaste for Toyota, any F1 team running both daMatta and Castroneves would become my instant favourite.
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Old 17 Sep 2002, 07:16 (Ref:382160)   #5
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racer69 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridracer69 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Won't be running both next year, they already have Panis under contract, unless one becomes test driver, and i can't see either settling for that.

Still, good chance for Helio, hope he does well.
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Old 17 Sep 2002, 07:49 (Ref:382171)   #6
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didn't the daMatta thing fall on its balls??? Helio would definatlly bring some personality to F1 but i'm not so sure how well he would do.
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Old 21 Sep 2002, 15:02 (Ref:385380)   #7
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Helio was 'thrilled' with his test. The story can be found here: http://www.autosport.com/newsitem.asp?id=20684&s=5

Salo, McNish and Sarrazin all tested during the four day test (Castroneves only did one day), but there are no time comparisons.
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Old 21 Sep 2002, 18:19 (Ref:385460)   #8
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From the sounds of it, the test was more of a one off. Toyota were much more interested in evaluating the equipment than the driver. I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Penske pulled a few strings to get the test.

I think there is still a very good possibility that Da Matta maybe a ToyotaF1 driver for next year. Supposedly Newmann-Haas would get free engines to run the Indy 500, or maybe even some IRL races, and Toyota would get Da Matta. They would still field Cart entries though.
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