CHAMPCAR/CART: Da Matta Tests at Homestead

ROOKIE HOPEFUL CRISTIANO DA MATTA BEGINS MULTI-DAY TEST AT HOMESTEAD HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Dec. 11) -Rookie of the Year hopeful Cristiano da Matta returned to Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex Friday to begin a multi-day test session...

ROOKIE HOPEFUL CRISTIANO DA MATTA BEGINS MULTI-DAY TEST AT HOMESTEAD

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Dec. 11) -Rookie of the Year hopeful Cristiano da Matta returned to Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex Friday to begin a multi-day test session with the Arciero-Wells Racing Team. He and teammate Scott Pruett are preparing for the 1999 CART FedEx Championship Series season, which begins here March 21 with the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. The 25-year-old Brazilian admits the circumstances are much different from his first Homestead test with the team back in November. "Then, I only had a half-day testing, and I was still getting used to the team, the car, and everything," da Matta explained. "Now, we're going to spend several days testing here on the road course, and then test several days on the oval. So this is really my first time testing here with the team." Arciero-Wells was so impressed with da Matta's first Homestead test that they signed him to drive the No. 25 MCI Reynard 981 Toyota formerly driven by Max Papis. Da Matta won the 1998 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship, leading the series with four victories. Over two seasons, he won seven times in 27 starts. "This road course is very good for testing," da Matta. "I like it here - the facilities, the weather, everything!" While both da Matta and Pruett are new to the Arciero-Wells team, Pruett was in a familiar role on Friday. The popular Californian has been Firestone's lead test driver since 1994, when the tire manufacturer decided to enter Championship Car competition. Tickets are now on sale for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. For additional information, call (305) 230-5249.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett