CHAMPCAR/CART: Bryan Herta Takes First Laps in New Honda/Swift

HILLIARD, Ohio (January 20) -- Bryan Herta took his initial laps as driver for the McDonald's Championship Racing Team yesterday in the first of a scheduled two-day test at Laguna Seca Raceway just outside of Monterey, California. The outing...

HILLIARD, Ohio (January 20) -- Bryan Herta took his initial laps as driver for the McDonald's Championship Racing Team yesterday in the first of a scheduled two-day test at Laguna Seca Raceway just outside of Monterey, California. The outing marked the debut of the new Swift 011.c chassis powered by Honda.

"Today was really a systems check day," said Steve Horne. "We kept under the 50-mile mark* and everything went fine for our initial run except the weather. The track was never totally dry. It would just start to dry out and another shower would roll in. I think everyone walked away pretty happy though."

Herta, who won the last two Champ Car races at Laguna Seca from the pole, was equally impressed with his first day at the office in preparation for the start of the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series.

"The weather conditions were not very accommodating for our first day, but we accomplished all of our systems and mechanical checks. This is a different car quite clearly than what I've driven in the past. It feels nice and all indications are good. We only made one change yesterday and the car responded very well. We haven't even begun to tap its potential.

"In terms of the engine, the Honda is quite smooth.  It has a nice, wide
power band.  I'm really impressed with that.

"It's been a remarkable effort by everyone at Swift to get this car on the track in a very short period of time. I said before if it runs half as good as it looks, then we're really going to have something to work with. I think we have something to work with."

----------- *Under CART testing rules, if a team completes less than 50 miles in a day, it does not count toward its testing allocation. This rule can be utilized only once in a season.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bryan Herta , Steve Horne