December 15, 2003 - Twenty-one year-old Gormley, Ontario, open-wheel racing dynamo Jonathan Macri was keen to make his appointment with Walker Racing December 10 and 11. Testing the Walker Racing Champ Car at Sebring's daunting permanent race ...
December 15, 2003 - Twenty-one year-old Gormley, Ontario, open-wheel racing dynamo Jonathan Macri was keen to make his appointment with Walker Racing December 10 and 11. Testing the Walker Racing Champ Car at Sebring's daunting permanent race course would be Jonathan's maiden test drive in a Champ machine. Demonstrating his high-calibre racing talent would be Macri's motivation. The NTN Bearings sponsored driver raised himself smoothly and quickly up through to the uppermost of the RPM gauge to meet the challenge, even though rain and cold temperatures colluded in an unsuccessful attempt to buttress Jonathan's run.
`It was a real thrill to finally drive a Champ Car,' Jonathan said. `Fortunately, I was well prepared both mentally and physically to adjust fairly quickly to the additional weight and power of the car. The weather wasn't on our side, though. It rained on my first test day and because of that we didn't see any track time until late afternoon. I ran the car for about two hours, but by the end of the run, I managed to get a pretty good feel for the car. I tried to playback the experience that same night and ran the session through my mind in preparation for the next day's testing.
The second day of testing started about an hour late because of all the rain that fell during the night and because of the cold temperatures. In fact, the track temperature was about 58 degrees Fahrenheit, which is borderline for tires to work. But, things went really well. My comfort level improved and my lap times dropped consistently throughout the day. `
Walker Racing Team Engineer, Mike Wright validated Jonathan's assessment of his own performance. He said that he was impressed with Jonathan. As he explained, the purpose of the test sessions was to evaluate how well Jonathan could adapt to the car and to the changes made to the car and to assess his consistency. He indicated that Jonathan's test was marked by very smooth, crisp shifting, both upward and downward. His run was also marked by a steady, mature progression; initially in understanding the car and its driving characteristics, and then in speed; consistently bettering his lap times.
`It's a great start, ` Jonathan said. `I can't say enough about Walker Racing. The team understood it was my first time testing a Champ Car and they were quick to give advice. They made me feel very welcomed and at home and we got along really well.
I'm very grateful to Walker Racing for having given me this opportunity. As always, I can't say enough about NTN Bearings, who have stuck by me throughout the past three years and for making this opportunity to test with Walker Racing possible.`
Macri's maiden test drive in a Champ Car proved successful both to Jonathan and to all very interested parties. No doubt, Jonathan's first successful experience in a Champ car bodes well for his determined drive towards Champ Car competition. Walker Racing will certainly be taking serious heed of this talented racing rocket.
For further information on Jonathan visit: www.jonathanmacri.com