Champ Car Trio Tests Powerboat P1 in Italy INDIANAPOLIS (April 28, 2006) -- Driving through city streets at more than 150 miles per hour may be old hat for Champ Car team owners Paul Newman, Kevin Kalkhoven, and Bridgestone Presents the Champ...
Champ Car Trio Tests Powerboat P1 in Italy
INDIANAPOLIS (April 28, 2006) -- Driving through city streets at more than 150 miles per hour may be old hat for Champ Car team owners Paul Newman, Kevin Kalkhoven, and Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford rookie driver Katherine Legge, but this week they experienced the sensation of speed at a whole new level as they joined the Powerboat P1 World Championship during a test session in Italy.
The Champ Car crew hit the open seas traveling more than 100 miles per hour with Great Britain's Legge, who recorded the highest finish by a woman in Champ Cars on her debut earlier this month, steering reigning champion Hannes Bohinc's Wettpunkt boat and admitting, "It was very nerve-racking, but great!"
"I think all racers have a need for speed. It's an adrenalin thing. It wasn't easy, but I just did what I was told by Hannes and I had 100 per cent faith in him because he's the best at what he does. When we came back the last time the speed was unbelievable. You get much more of an impression of speed on water than you do on land.'
Austrian boat owner and throttleman Bohinc was similarly impressed with Legge, who finished eighth in the Long Beach race. He said, "it took her about five minutes to understand it and that didn't surprise me because she is a racing driver and didn't do stupid things. She was very good."
Kalkhoven, who recruited 25-year-old Legge for his PKV Racing team, had a ride with Bohinc's great Italian rival, Mario Invernizzi, in the Kerakoll boat and was so overwhelmed he may even explore the prospects of putting on a double-header show with P1 boss Nathan Knight.
"It's completely insane, which makes it brilliant," Kalkhoven enthused. "How those guys can race those things for an hour and a half I don't know. I'd really love to do a race to feel what it's like. The physical effort and mental concentration needed is just incredible."
Newman/Haas co-owner Paul Newman, who still races at the age of 81, also jumped at the chance to ride with Invernizzi. Newman said, "That was great. I like anything to do with motors. I've never been on one of these before and really enjoyed it. I'd love to do it again".
The trio will head back to the United States to prepare for Champ Car's first ever night race on a temporary street circuit as the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford heads to Houston, Texas for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston from May 11-13. Live coverage of the event begins at 9:00 p.m. ET on SPEED.