With less than ten weeks to go until the 2000 season opener at Sebring International Raceway, the Barber Dodge Pro Series winter testing is kicking into high gear. Drivers have yet to get a taste of the 2000 package, which is to have several...
With less than ten weeks to go until the 2000 season opener at Sebring International Raceway, the Barber Dodge Pro Series winter testing is kicking into high gear.
Drivers have yet to get a taste of the 2000 package, which is to have several aerodynamic, suspension and tire improvements to the Michelin shod Barber Dodge Reynard 98E. That package is still in development with Barber Dodge Pro Series test driver Oswaldo Negri and Series Engineer Louis D'Agostino busily sorting and testing the revamped cars for drivers to have later this winter. Although exact times were not available from the most recent outing this week at Sebring, most of the drivers put in solid performances according to driver coach Barry Waddell.
On hand for the test were eight drivers, including three who were driving the Barber Dodge Reynard for the first time.
19-year old London, England native Sam Hancock was having his second go around in a Pro Series car as he continues to research his racing options for the upcoming season. As his comfort level in the car grows, his lap times have been steadily falling, making him among the fastest of those testing. Thed Bjork of Vretstorp, Sweden was also in attendance, and continued to put in consistent runs.
Also racking up testing miles were 1999 co-Rookie of the Year Roger Yasukawa and ‘Big Scholarship’ winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. Both drivers left buoyed by their respective runs. Peter Boss was also on hand. Boss spent the bulk of his test doing race distance runs, concentrating on race set-up.
In the car for the first time were Andy Lally, Chris Baker and John Macri. Lally, a 1999 Valvoline Team USA member along with 1998-99 Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Jeff Simmons, acclimated quickly to his new work space to set some quick laps around the Sebring Test Circuit. Baker, a Formula Dodge Race Series regular, and Macri also put in some installation laps, acquainting themselves the race car by focusing on clean consistent laps, which they duly did.
Testing for the Barber Dodge Pro Series will continue next Monday and Tuesday at Sebring International Raceway.
- George Tamayo