Forsythe Racing Sebring test notes

FORSYTHE TRACK PACK; COMPLETES TWO-DAY SEBRING TEST SEBRING, Florida -- Friday, February 24, 2006 -- The second gathering of Forsythe Championship Racing's four-car entry into the 2006 Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship...

FORSYTHE TRACK PACK; COMPLETES TWO-DAY SEBRING TEST

SEBRING, Florida -- Friday, February 24, 2006 -- The second gathering of Forsythe Championship Racing's four-car entry into the 2006 Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda went off smoothly this week as the drivers, crew and transporters returned to the venerable road course at Sebring International Raceway in central Florida for two days of testing and team-building. All four drivers completed numerous laps with their fastest times blanketed by less than a tenth of a second in the soon to be retired Swift 014.a Atlantic chassis.

"We logged 940 miles over two days with all four drivers" commented Team Manager John Brunner, "which was quite a bit more than the previous test. The cars ran flawlessly after the preparation completed by our crew at the shop. Our drivers are very competitive with one another lap time wise, so it should be very interesting throughout the year. The team is coming together very well. We are only short three positions and we're hoping to fill those next week. We are now focusing on getting ready for the delivery of the new cars and getting down to business."

The Swift 014.a chassis is being replaced by an entirely new car for 2006 designated the Swift 016.a and powered by a 300-hp Mazda-Cosworth 2.3-liter engine.

The youngest driver of the group, 16-year old Richard Philippe of France, was thankful for the seat time. "I'm coming off my first real formula car season (Philippe won the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship after a successful karting career) so I really need these laps. Once again this test was more about the team rather than the drivers since we're all so new to each other, but it went very well. We were all quick and consistent, and even though this car is going to be retired soon it's very valuable seat time. Now I'm back home and getting ready for testing the new car in Fontana (March 21-22 on the California Speedway road course) and for the first race in Long Beach."

19-year old Canadian, James Hinchcliffe: "This test was really, really successful on a bunch of levels. First we had some new guys there and nearly a full crew so it was great getting to continue to build the team with all these guys. They are all such hard workers that it really makes the driver's job easier. And then on top of that we managed to actually get some work done! We had a list of things that we needed to work through, both on the car and on the drivers, and we accomplished it all. We are very pleased and now just cannot wait to get to work on the 016."

Leonardo Maia, a 25-year old American: "It was another productive test for both the team and the drivers. The crew worked very hard and we were able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. My teammates are very fast and we constantly push each other making everyone that much better. I can't wait for the new car and the first official test in Fontana!"

21-year old German, Andreas Wirth: "First of all I have to thank the whole team for preparing cars so thoroughly. We never had any problems the whole two days. Everything went very well and the team keeps getting closer and working very nicely together. We're finding out how to use our advantage as a multi-car team and it is nice to see that it is working so well in just our second test together. The mechanics and engineers are just awesome and doing a perfect job. Personally I had two very good test days and was very pleased with what we accomplished; lot of things that we can carry over to the new car which is important. It is always nice to be in a race car and if you can do it with such a team behind you it's even more! We will prove that Forsythe Racing will be there to fight for the Championship. I just can't wait now to drive the new car for the first time!"

The official team debut of the new-era Swift chassis, Mazda-Cosworth engine and high-performance Yokohama Advan tires takes place at California Speedway in Fontana, California on March 21-22.

-fcr-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Leonardo Maia , Andreas Wirth , Richard Philippe , James Hinchcliffe