CHAMPCAR/CART: DP01 chassis test notes 2006-08-23

2007 CHAMP CAR PICKS UP THE PACE AS DP01 RUNS 175 MILES WEDNESDAY IN CENTRAL FLORIDA HEAT SEBRING, Fla. (August 23, 2006) -- If Monday's and Tuesday's test outings at Sebring International Raceway featured the tentative first steps of the...

2007 CHAMP CAR PICKS UP THE PACE AS DP01 RUNS 175 MILES WEDNESDAY IN CENTRAL FLORIDA HEAT

SEBRING, Fla. (August 23, 2006) -- If Monday's and Tuesday's test outings at Sebring International Raceway featured the tentative first steps of the newborn American-built DP01 Champ Car, Wednesday's testing would be akin to its first sprint as the heat got turned up, literally and figuratively, on the car that will carry the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford into 2007 and beyond.

The car ran more than 175 miles on another hot and muggy Central Florida day, flawlessly completing a number of punishing 15-lap stints under the expert guidance of two-time Champ Car racewinner Roberto Moreno.

The test team worked late into the night to prepare the car for today's outing, which saw the car run longer stints than most Champ Car teams complete at Sebring under normal testing conditions. The 94-degree heat turned up the degree of difficulty in today's testing but the Panoz-built DP01 answered the bell and ran all day without incident.

"The whole idea is to deliver a reliable product to the teams, and that is the purpose of these tests," said Champ Car Technical Director Scot Elkins. "We work on that by running longer stints here than the teams will normally when they get the car. From here on out, that is what we are going to continue doing."

Moreno, who is running his first serious stints in a Champ Car since 2003, agreed with Elkins' assessment.

"It is hard here to complete 15-lap runs when you normally only do seven- or eight-lap runs when you are testing," Moreno said. "But I'm really happy with the car and with the program. We got to the point today where we are starting to fine-tune it and it has been very reliable and responsive so far."

The extreme heat provided an additional test for the Elan Motorsports designers, as it provided a perfect platform to check the cooling capacity of the aerodynamic designs. Not only will the aerodynamic improvements made to the DP01 increase passing opportunities and provide closer racing for the fans, it can also prolong the life of the car and its components by removing the heat from the car -- which it had every opportunity to do today.

"We're extremely happy at this time with how things are going," said Chief Aerodynamicst Nick Alcock. "We're running in some extreme temperatures and the cooling systems have performed very well. We are well within the limits and even have a cushion built in, which will allow teams more latitude with their aero setups. The engine and brake cooling systems are operating right where we need them to be."

The testing will continue Thursday and Friday in Sebring in the first of three separate sessions to take place before the end of September.

-credit: ccws

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno