The Infiniti / Indy Pro Series made its debut in mid-2002 with an inaugural
season of seven races run in conjunction with the Indy Car Racing Series.
The 2006 championship consists of twelve races beginning in March at Homestead-Miami Speedway and concluding in mid-September at Chicago Speedway.
For the first time, the series included doubleheaders on road and street courses.
Drivers compete in the Dallara IPS, designed and manufactured for the Infiniti Pro Series. The open-wheel, single-seat racer has a ground-effect underbody and outboard wings front and rear. The monocoque chassis is constructed using carbon fiber and composites. The Dallara has a minimum weight of 1,430 pounds, which includes all lubricants and coolants used during the event, but does not include fuel or the driver.
Firestone Firehawk racing tires are mounted on 15-inch diameter x 10 front and 15-inch diameter x 14 rear wheels.
The car is powered by an Infiniti Q45 engine which produces approximately 450 horsepower and is fitted to a Ricardo six forward gear transmission with a sequential shifter.
Infiniti Pro Series costs are tightly controlled by the Indy Racing League, with the Dallara IPS costing $137,900 (including the data acquisition system).
Rounds two and three of the 2006 Indy Pro Series were held on the temporary circuit called the Streets of Saint Petersburg. Drivers would compete in two races around the fourteen-turn 1.800-mile course for forty laps.
|Raphael Matos made his Indy Pro Series debut at St. Petersburg. He was driving the No. 41 Dallara IPS for Jim Guthrie. Guthrie was the 1997 IndyCar Rookie of the Year. Matos would sweep the weekend, but it was not without its challenges. He qualified on the pole for Saturday’s race but had to defend against Jay Howard and Chris Simmons for the win. He was gridded sixth for the finale and collected the victory.|
|After four seasons in the Indy Pro Series, Chris Simmons could be labeled a veteran. He returned this season driving the No. 24 J Med Lab Supply Dallara IPS and won the opening race of 2006 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Simmons started third in race one and capitalized on a mistake by the leader, Raphael Matos, to grab first place. Unfortunately, an error caused him to finish second. On Sunday, Simmons was fourth.|
|Jay Howard would make his series debut at Miami and finish third. The No. 7 Lucas Oil Dallara IPS driver qualified fourth fastest for Saturday’s race at St. Petersburg. Howard led for four laps before finishing third. He was gridded fourth for the finale after the top-six from race one were inverted. Howard moved into the top spot on lap-2 but surrendered the position to Raphael Matos for a runner-up result.|
|Like Raphael Matos, England’s Alex Lloyd made his Indy Pro Series debut at this year’s Saint Petersburg event. Lloyd qualified the No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Dallara IPS and started in the second position. However, he finished two laps behind the leaders in tenth place. On Sunday, Lloyd redeemed himself. He was the race’s big mover going from tenth to third at the checkered flag, giving AFS Racing their best series result.|
|An accident between Chris Festa and Jonathan Klein in the season opener caused the pair to be the first retirements of the race. The situation at Saint Petersburg looked brighter for Festa as he qualified eighth and finished fifth in round two. On Sunday, he started on the pole, after the top-six finishers from Saturday’s race were inverted, in the No. 51 Formtek Dallara IPS, but would finish a disappointing eighth.|
|1||1||Raphael Matos||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|2||3||Jeff Simmons||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|3||4||Jay Howard||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|4||5||Nick Bussell||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|5||7||Jonathan Klein||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|6||8||Chris Festa||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|7||11||Matthew Hamilton||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|8||10||Bobby Wilson||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|9||9||Brett Van Blankers||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||39||-|
|10||2||Alex Lloyd||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||38||-|
|11||15||Geoff Dodge||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||32||-|
|12||6||Jaime Camara||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||30||-|
|13||12||Jon Herb||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||18||Transmission|
|14||13||Marty Roth||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||18||Accident|
|15||14||Rocco DeSimone||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||0||Fuel Pump|
|-||16||Arie Luyendyk, Jr.||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||-||Did Not Start|
|1||6||Raphael Matos||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|2||4||Jay Howard||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|3||10||Alex Lloyd||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|4||5||Jeff Simmons||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|5||2||Jonathan Klein||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|6||8||Bobby Wilson||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|7||7||Matthew Hamilton||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|8||1||Chris Festa||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|9||13||Jon Herb||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||40||-|
|10||3||Nick Bussell||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||39||-|
|11||9||Brett Van Blankers||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||39||-|
|12||14||Marty Roth||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||31||-|
|13||11||Geoff Dodge||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||19||Accident|
|14||15||Rocco DeSimone||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||3||Transmission|
|15||12||Jaime Camara||Dallara IPS / Infiniti||1||Fire|
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