CHAMPCAR/CART: Johnny Herbert Rockingham test

Johnny Herbert - Fastest Racing Driver in Britain Former Formula One ace Johnny Herbert got his first taste of racing American style when he tested a Lola - Ford Champ Car on the new Rockingham 1.5 mile oval. Not only did he impress everyone ...

Johnny Herbert - Fastest Racing Driver in Britain

Former Formula One ace Johnny Herbert got his first taste of racing American style when he tested a Lola - Ford Champ Car on the new Rockingham 1.5 mile oval. Not only did he impress everyone present, he smashed Nigel Mansell's two month old British lap record.

Dale Coyne Racing brought the car to England to conduct tyre testing for Firestone in preparation for the first ever Champ Car race to be held in the UK on September 22nd and brought along their American driver Alex Barron to carry out various test runs. The young Californian recorded a best time of 27.7 seconds during his runs, changing the tyre compound and fuel level to simulate different race conditions.

This gave Herbert a bench mark time to aim for and on his second run in the car the Englishman went faster than Barron. By the end of the test Johnny Herbert recorded a time of 27.242 seconds and an average speed of an incredible 198.223 mph. This compared to Nigel Mansell's previous record of 33.008s (163.54mph).

"It's not as scary as everyone said it would be," quipped Johnny. "You are aware of the speed, and the wall, but it's a case of making the car and the track work with you. The Rockingham banking and the undulations of the track can really work to make the car quicker. I reckon that Turn one and Turn four will see some side-by-side racing in September, it will be a big challenge."

The British Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hour winner was very pleased with his lap time, but was under no illusions that it wouldn't be bettered on September 22nd. "I reckon the 200 mph barrier will be broken pretty quickly, but it is nice to hold the lap record for a few weeks at least. The track is a real challenge and Champ Car racing will also be a real challenge, which is just what I always want. I need to have a challenge when I go racing. I'm really looking forward to having a go at Champ Car next year, but if I do I want to concentrate on the whole championship. And of course there is the Indianapolis 500, I would really love to win that."

-Rockingham

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Nigel Mansell , Alex Barron , Dale Coyne
Teams Dale Coyne Racing