Hall Racing of Midland, Texas, has begun testing for the 1996 IndyCar racing season.
In a one-day test at the new Homestead, Florida track de Ferran turned in fast lap time of 1:11.72 (109.175 mph) on the 12-turn road course on the same day that Robby Gordon tested at 1:12.3 (108.299 mph) and Emerson Fittipaldi at 1:12.5 (108 mph) unofficially.
The Pennzoil Special was fitted with a Honda engine, replacing the Mercedes Benz Ilmor used in the season just concluded. De Ferran was pleasd with his results and inpressed with the new power plant.
"I'm happy Jim HAll made this decision on the engine," De Ferran said. "It ran flawlessly during the test. The (Honda) factory is dedicated. Six technicians from HPD (Honda Performance Development Inc.) showed up to make sure there were no problems for us at the test."
De Ferran had a problem on Oct. 19. He was surprised by a bump on the track surface, lost control and skidded into tire barriers, damaging the car severely. A gearbox had to be flown in from team headquarters in Midland, Texas. The team lost a day on the track while rebuilding the car, and De Ferran was able to run on Oct 21. The last two days of the test were rained out.
The next Pennzoil Hall team test will be on the Homestead oval for four days beginning Nov. 7.
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