PacifiCare Driver Junqueira Completed First of 2-Day Road Course
FONTANA, Calif. (March 17, 2004) - PacifiCare driver Bruno Junqueira, 27, got behind the wheel of a Champ Car yesterday for the first time since the 2003 season finale in Australia for the first of a two-day test in preparation for the 2004 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. After running 80 laps around the 1.5-mile road course at The California Speedway, Junqueira was pleased with Newman/Haas Racing's (NHR) first test day of the season.
"It was good to get back on track after such a long off-season," said Junqueira, who finished second in the overall 2003 Champ Car point standings for the second consecutive season. "I'm quite happy with the amount that we learned on the first day. I also was able to use Ford-Cosworth's new "Push to Pass" button for the first time and it was very good. I think it will make the racing more exciting this season. The button will give you what you need to pass a car if you are close to it. It won't make it easy but it will help for sure. The team is working on the car today and I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel tomorrow."
NHR's General Manager Brian Lisles was also pleased with the progress. "Everyone is happy to get back on track," said Lisles. "We were able to run 120 trouble-free miles yesterday and evaluate the new rule changes that the Champ Car series passed over the winter."
Newman/Haas Racing, owned by actor/race car driver Paul Newman and racing entrepreneur Carl A. Haas, is the most successful team competing in the Champ Car World Series. The team will begin their 22nd season in Champ Car competition in 2004 and will attempt to score their fifth overall title after winning 73 races and 77 pole positions. Current drivers Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais were preceded at the team by Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta. For more information log on to www.newman-haas.com, www.brunojunqueira.com, www.sebastienbourdais.com or www.champcarworldseries.com.