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April 07, 2013 | By Dave Lewandowski - INDYCAR.com
INDYCAR has postponed the April 11 Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because of the forecast of inclement weather in Indianapolis.
“We have been monitoring the weather reports in Indianapolis to make sure the conditions would be suitable for ample on-track activity,” INDYCAR president of operations and strategy Brian Barnhart said. “With the strong chance for rain and the lower ambient temperatures, we felt it was best to postpone our Rookie Orientation Program until a later date.”
Officials will announce the rescheduled date for ROP soon. AJ Allmendinger (Team Penske), Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Racing), Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport) and Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian) are scheduled to participate.
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Allmendinger and Vautier are entered in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 19-21, while Munoz will compete in the Firestone Indy Lights race on the temporary street course. Following Long Beach is the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil on May 5.
Vautier, the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights champion, earned finished 10th in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7 at Barber Motorsports Park. Allmendinger, making his series debut, qualified 10th and finished 19th. Munoz won the Legacy Indy Lights 100 at Barber.
Daly, who most recently completed preseason GP3 testing and made his GP2 debut in Malaysia, will make his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Drivers must complete two of the three phases on the designated ROP day, when the 2.5-mile oval is open only to rookies, to join in practice on Opening Day (May 11). The third phase may be completed on any of the practice days before Pole Day (May 18). Phases include 10 laps at 200-205 mph, 15 laps at 205-209 mph and 15 laps at 210-plus mph.
IZOD IndyCar Series driver stewards Arie Luyendyk and Johnny Unser will oversee the program that puts a premium on car control, placement and a consistent driving pattern.