GARCIA TESTS 2000 RACE PACKAGE AT PUTNAM PARK INDIANAPOLIS (April 20) -- Second-year FedEx Championship Series driver Luiz Garcia Jr., completed his first test with the 2000 Reynard/Mercedes-Benz IC108F at Putnam Park Road Course, in Mt.
GARCIA TESTS 2000 RACE PACKAGE AT PUTNAM PARK
INDIANAPOLIS (April 20) -- Second-year FedEx Championship Series driver Luiz Garcia Jr., completed his first test with the 2000 Reynard/Mercedes-Benz IC108F at Putnam Park Road Course, in Mt. Meridian, Ind., Wednesday afternoon.
The test, which was Garcia's second overall since joining the Project Racing Group (P.R.G.) (he tested the 1999 car at Buttonwillow, Calif., prior to Long Beach) finally gave the young Brazilian a taste of the 2000 equipment that all his contemporaries have been driving this season. Because the team joined the Championship Auto Racing Teams circuit in late March, Garcia did not have a chance to run a new package, instead racing a 1999 Reynard/Mercedes-Benz.
Garcia ran nearly 50 miles in his 2000 Hollywood-Embratel-Tang-Reynard/Mercedes-Benz, in a variety of set-ups. The team, has had the 2000 car for three weeks and had the car present at the Long Beach Grand Prix, but opted to run the year-old car in the race instead. Garcia placed 12th at Long Beach for the best CART finish of his career. He also scored his first point, and what he hopes will be the last point ever scored by a 1999 car. The team has the year-old Reynard on hand for Rio, while a back-up 2000 Reynard is being delivered next week.
Garcia was extremely pleased with the car and his quick progress in it.
"I was feeling like a little child with a new toy," said Garcia. "In this case the toy was my car and waiting to take it out was like waiting for it to get unwrapped so I could play with it."
Garcia did 23 laps and said one thing he likes about the car was that it had more space in the cockpit than the 99 Reynard.
"It's a lot more comfortable and easier to climb out of,"said Garcia. "I'm happy to finally get the chance to run it and I'm very happy I'll have it for my home race in Rio de Janiero."
The Rio 200, the next race on the FedEx Championship schedule is set to run on Saturday, April 30, 2000.
"This is the moment we have been waiting for," said team owner Andreas Leberle. "This is a basic shakedown, but we are very happy to get the car out. The crew did a great job of preparing the car for Luiz."