The Barber Dodge Pro Series test team carried out a successful reconnaissance test at the Chicago Motor Speedway site of the Target Grand Prix of Chicago. Round 8 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series season will take place there on July 28. For...
The Barber Dodge Pro Series test team carried out a successful reconnaissance test at the Chicago Motor Speedway site of the Target Grand Prix of Chicago. Round 8 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series season will take place there on July 28. For the first time in the Series' history engineer Louis D'Agostino and test drivers Ozwaldo Negri, Rod MacLeod and Barry Waddell were able to conduct a proper pre-event test at the same oval venue where the Series is scheduled to compete. Previous oval tests had been conducted at Phoenix International Raceway.
The race marks the first time that the Barber Dodge Pro Series will have visited the 1.029-mile Chicago oval. As a result the test provided crucial information about the Barber Dodge Reynard and Michelin tires' behavior. The results according to D'Agostino were very encouraging.
"I expect that we're going to see some really great racing. The drivers will have basically two ways to approach this track. They can leave it in gear and float the speed through the corners picking up the throttle along the way or they can shift down a gear and be a bit more aggressive. Either way, it's going to be very competitive," said D'Agostino.
Test drivers were able to consistently lap in the low 31sec. range with the quickest lap recorded at 0:31.000 sec. D'Agostino adds that the quicker drivers should be able to dip below that standard as the mandate of the test was not to set a qualifying lap.
Throughout the test, Negri and Waddell concentrated on chassis set-up while MacLeod focused on the development of Michelin's oval tire, the only such application that the French tire giant makes. In the end a variety of compounds and two different constructions were tested. The data yielded smiles from the Michelin engineers revealing not only a fast tire for the event this year, but also the promise of an even faster tire for next year.
Rain blighted the second day of the test, but in the end it was of little consequence as Monday's results were all that was needed.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series will head north of the border to Toronto, Canada next week for the Molson Indy Toronto before taking on the oval at the end of the month.
- George Tamayo