Sebring test notes 2002-09-14

Barber Dodge Pro Series testing gets underway. Drivers Gerardo Bonilla and Can Artam recently found an early bright light for their 2003 campaigns in testing at Sebring International Raceway. Bonilla and Artram were joined by 11 other drivers...

Barber Dodge Pro Series testing gets underway.

Drivers Gerardo Bonilla and Can Artam recently found an early bright light for their 2003 campaigns in testing at Sebring International Raceway. Bonilla and Artram were joined by 11 other drivers in testing the Reynard 98E Barber Dodge Pro Series car last Saturday and Sunday on Sebring's CART test circuit configuration.

Bonilla was excited about having his first laps as the wheel of the Dodge V-6 powered Reynard.

"I really expected nothing more than to have a great time and to learn," said Bonilla, who spent his first day becoming aquainted with the car and the track layout while setting some baseline times for himself.

Luis Pelayo, a veteran of the 2002 Pro Series season, set the pace on day one with some laps in the 1:05-second bracket. Can Artam, running in his third Pro Series test day, struggled to find speed on Day 1.

"I'm not sure why I'm off the pace, but I'll figure it out," Artram promised himself at the end of day one.

Eleven of the thirteen drivers rolled out onto the track early on the second day of testing, as the times tend to drop with the cool air helping to provide more power . Bonilla set some competitive times in the early part of the day, and was surprised with his progress.

I knew I had set a fast time, since we can see that on the digital readout inside the car, but I was surprised when David Loring told me that my time was the best so far! It feels really good, since its only my second time in this car.

Artram found some additional speed in the later stages of the day to set times in the low 1:05-bracket.

"That's a great feeling to finish up with a great lap," said Artram as he went over the data he had generated in the car during his session.

Burt Frisselle, a Formula Dodge National Championship driver who has competed in three Barber Dodge Pro Series races this year was also on hand for testing and lapped in the mid 1:05 range.

"I worked with a lot of setup options and caught up on some track time I had saved up," Frisselle said, referring to the 125 laps he turned on Saturday alone. Frisselle, who is coached on occasion in the National Championship by 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion A.J. Allmendinger is looking to be as prepared as possible for the 2003 season.

Also making runs were drivers Jep Thornton, John Pew, Quentin Wahl, Bud Risser, Michael Culver, Craig Duerson, and Matt Franc. Testing will resume again in October for drivers looking to get seat time in the Pro Series car.

-cart/barber-

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About this article
Series Barber Pro
Drivers A.J. Allmendinger , Michael Culver , Burt Frisselle , Jep Thornton , Craig Duerson , Luis Pelayo , Can Artam , John Pew , Quentin Wahl , Gerardo Bonilla