Larry Mason's Indy Lights Car Test (1998)
Racecar Driver Larry Mason Gets First-Ever Test in PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Car.
Mason is a four-time road-racing champion who broke both legs and both ankles eight years ago at the Dallas Grand Prix professional auto race. Mason has since recovered to not only race again, but win! In September he won an F3 race in Hawaii and on November 8, shared victory with two co-drivers in a 3hr. Enduro driving a Spec Racer Ford. Mason has developed such a thorough physical therapy program that he also competes in sprint triathlons!
Larry adjusts his arm restraints prior to entering the cockpit while CART FedEx Championship photographer Brad Bernstein captures the moment.
Mason tested with Genoa Racing out of Novato, CA. They are famous for helping establish auto racing careers for drivers like Jimmy Vasser - the 1996 CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) Champion.
Crew member Jose Jimenez helps strap Mason into the tight confines of his new office. This was a private test with Mason and Genoa to determine not only how fast Mason can drive, but also how effectively the team and driver communicate in regards to car setup. A successful test would mean that Mason may challenge for the 1999 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship.
This was an exclusive opportunity for the media to share some of the
secrets of what really takes place during a private test. Most fans hear about testing all the time but never really know what goes on behind the scenes. To add drama to the excitement,
Mason wore a POLAR heart rate monitor and shared his heart rate information with the media. "Racing is very demanding both mentally and physically. With the heart rate monitor, you are
able to see just how hard Mason worked out on the track. Training for and competing in triathlons help give me an advantage in my auto races. You must be physically fit to endure the
big "G" forces and stresses of motorsports. Mason relies on PowerBars to help fuel his performance. Here, Mason at speed exiting the final hairpin leading onto the front straight
at Buttonwillow Raceway park.
The view inside the Genoa Racing transporter. A driver's lounge up front
complements the full workshop in the rear.
The Indy Lights Lola T97/20 Chassis specifications are as follows:
Top Speed: 190 mph+
Price: $145,000 (w/o engine)
The test took place on November 18, 1998 at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park located 1/2 mile West of I 5 on Lerdo Highway (27 miles West of Bakersfield) Mason had two new sets of tires and 150 miles to get up to speed. If you are interested in becoming involved with Mason's Championship effort, you may reach him via email at email@example.com.