Scandia Ferrari tests at Watkins Glen

SCANDIA FERRARI HITS RECORD SPEEDS IN TESTING FOR GLEN CONTINENTAL WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Officially, practice for the 12th running of the Glen Continental at Watkins Glen International doesn't get underway for another month. Tuesday, the...

SCANDIA FERRARI HITS RECORD SPEEDS IN TESTING FOR GLEN CONTINENTAL

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Officially, practice for the 12th running of the Glen Continental at Watkins Glen International doesn't get underway for another month. Tuesday, the Scandia Ferrari team took a huge head start on the competition in testing for the June 24 Exxon World Sports Car event.

Both Fermin Velez and Mauro Baldi bettered the track record in the Sequent/Apex One/Perry Ellis Ferrari 333SP in the unofficial session. Velez, of Barcelona, Spain, turned a fast lap of 119.298 mph, while Baldi , of Monte Carlo, Monaco, was clocked at 118.421 mph. Eliseo Salazar set the track record in last year's qualifying with a lap of 118.276 mph in the Momo Ferrari 333SP he co-drove to victory with Gianpiero Moretti. Salazar will compete in Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

The Scandia team is coming off its second victory of the young campaign, winning Sunday's Moosehead Grand Prix in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"It was a very interesting race, both for the competitors and those watching from the outside," said Baldi, the 1994 winner of the 24 Hours of LeMans. "We really wanted to win -- especially me, after running so many races for Ferrari, I was finally able to win.

"I think racing at Watkins Glen on the long course gives you different solutions. You can find an advantage at this track and be able to go quicker than the others," Baldi continued. "Testing is very important here, absolutely. Now when we return here we will have a basic setup for the race. We found out something very interesting today with our tires."

Would he tell about what the team found about the new Parelli compound?

"Absoletely not," Baldi responded with a big grin.

Baldi's optimism was echoed by the team.

"We learned exactly what we wanted to learn," said team engineer Jeff Braun. "What we hoped would work, worked. We've got a good baseline to set up for the race. We're starting to understand the car to the point where we can arrive at the track with a good setup under the car right out of the box."

Braun said the team tried a Parelli compound they never tested before, which was a "definite improvement," and also made improvements in the motor and shock absorbers which he said would not only help the team in the June 24 three hour race at the Glen, but Monday's round at Lime Rock Park, Conn.

"The test was almost too good," he said.

Sharing the track with the Scandia Ferrari was the Highway Master Trans-Am team, with drivers Price Cobb and Paul Gentilozzi, who both tested just shy of Scott Pruett's track record. They will return to the Glen for a Saturday race during the August 10-13 Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston Cup weekend.

The Glen's June 23-25 NASCAR/IMSA Double Feature Weekend has IMSA's Exxon World Sports Cars and Exxon GT classes in Saturday's Glen Continental, plus the debut of the Ferrari Challenge. Sunday's schedule features the NASCAR Busch Grand National 200, plus the IMSA Street Stocks, USAC Formula Ford 2000, and SCCA Barber Dodge Pro Series. For ticket information, call (607) 535-2481.

J.J. O'Malley, Director of Communications, Watkins Glen International

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Eliseo Salazar , Scott Pruett , Mauro Baldi , Paul Gentilozzi , Price Cobb , Fermin Velez , Gianpiero Moretti