Taylor passes rookie test

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Mark Taylor has been given the green light to race in next month's Indianapolis 500 after passing his rookie test. The Londoner will join his compatriots Dario Franchitti, Dan Wheldon and Darren Manning on the grid.

First-time competitors are required to complete four 10-lap stints at a designated speed to prove they are capable of taking part safely. Taylor passed without a problem in his Panther Racing car and looks forward to a competitive drive on the famous high-speed banked oval.

"It was really good. It was a nice, beautiful day here," he said. "I'm able to take some time without so many people out there to make sure I'm comfortable in the car.

"The car felt great, and I was able to get the rookie test out of the way. We're looking for a good month of May now."

While Taylor is new to the Indy 500, Bruno Junqueira returns after a year's absence. The Brazilian will drive for the Newman-Haas Racing team.

"I think I'm going to have a good shot to win the race this year," said Junqueira, rookie of the year at Indianapolis in 2001.