CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: RSPORTS Portland test wrap-up

RSPORTS ABLE TO RUN SOME LAPS IN BETWEEN RAIN DROPS IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK EAST LANSING, Michigan (May 4, 2007) -- The hope of running three days' worth of testing in Portland this week for the RSPORTS team was washed away, however the team was...

RSPORTS ABLE TO RUN SOME LAPS IN BETWEEN RAIN DROPS IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK

EAST LANSING, Michigan (May 4, 2007) -- The hope of running three days' worth of testing in Portland this week for the RSPORTS team was washed away, however the team was able to run both drivers Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson and accomplish a good majority of their goals during their outing.

Tuesday marked the first day of the testing effort at Portland International Raceway. Only Tagliani ran this day pushing the #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone to its limit on a road course. The French-Canadian continued working on improving the team's road course setup and preparing for the Portland race. The team continued working towards understanding the DP01 and what changes improve the car. At the end of the day, Tagliani sat third on the lap sheet after turning a lap time of 58.18 seconds around the 1.960-mile permanent road course.

"Obviously there are two different types of race car setups between the street courses and road courses," said Tagliani. "Coming here after Houston, you notice that you can really fine-tune the setup on the DP01 and sense details in the new car that you couldn't feel when you're going over the bumps or the surface changes on street courses. It's good to get some testing here because we have a stretch of road courses coming up that are going to play a large part of the championship.

I think that the test went pretty good for RSPORTS. On Tuesday we had a good day as we found some things that will definitely help us when we come back to Portland for the race. I had a P3 car then, so things started off positive and we were rather quick. I was quite pleased with how the #8 LXN2/RSPORTS car was feeling. Overall, I am very happy with what we accomplished this week and I am excited to get back here to race in June."

Tagliani's teammate Wilsondid not run on Tuesday, but was scheduled to run on Wednesday and Thursday in the #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone. However, that plan was put on hold as the Portland area saw heavy rain throughout the day on Wednesday, delaying the team because they wanted to make the most out of their test by running on a dry track. So there was no RSPORTS activity on Wednesday and they hoped for clear weather for Thursday, their final day at PIR.

Despite the threat of rain that lingered throughout the day on Thursday in the RoseCity's dark skies, the track did stay dry for a majority of the day allowing the teams to get back on track. Wilson ran throughout the day and continued the team's test plan. He was able to make solid improvements to the car and they collected valuable data. When Wilson came in at lunch time to make some adjustments to his car, Tagliani went back out to log a few more laps before packing up. Wilson was fifth fastest with a time of 58.19 seconds after only getting one day of testing.

"The rain was a bit tricky, we wanted to run on Wednesday and do two days, but it forced us to just one day of running," said Wilson. "It has put us behind a little bit but hopefully we can come back from that. It was good that Alex was able to run as much as he did on Tuesday as our combined team effort resulted in an overall positive experience. It was a good test for us. The additional mileage allowed us to make changes to the cars that we wouldn't normally have time to evaluate during the race weekends. It also allowed us to collect more information on the DP01 and prepare for the Portland race weekend." Tagliani added, "It was important for Justin to get some time testing this week, so I am glad that he was able to make a good run on Thursday. Despite only running a few laps on Thursday, I felt that the car was capable of running in the top two, so I think that we are walking away from this test with valuable information that is ultimately going to help us when we come back for the race, and in future races."

The RSPORTS team will now head back home to continue preparing for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Joe's, which is the next event on the Champ Car 2007 season calendar and will take the green flag on Sunday, June 10.

-credit: rsports

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson