CHAMPCAR/CART: Manning on the pace for Champ Car testing

British rookie Champ Car driver Darren Manning on the pace for Champ Car pre-season testing. British racing driver, Darren Manning, had his first outing in the Walker Racing Ford Cosworth Reynard Champ Car at the all-team pre-season test session...

British rookie Champ Car driver Darren Manning on the pace for Champ Car pre-season testing.

British racing driver, Darren Manning, had his first outing in the Walker Racing Ford Cosworth Reynard Champ Car at the all-team pre-season test session for the Champ Car World Series held at Sebring International Raceway, Florida this week. He completed the three days of testing with a seventh-place finish on the final time sheet, turning a lap of 51.204 seconds (117.342mph).

Manning is set to be the fan's favourite when the Champ Cars arrive in the UK for the fourth event in the 19 race Champ Car World Series on May bank holiday weekend, 3 - 5 May this year. The London Champ Car Trophy will be a feast of motorsport with the thrilling turbo-charged fury of Champ Car racing and the wheel-to-wheel action of the British Touring Car Championship. These two feature races will be supported by an action-packed schedule of activity on and off the track.

At Sebring this week, impressive rookie Sebastien Bourdais driving for Newman/Haas Racing saved his best for last on Thursday at Sebring, turning the best time of the three-day Champ Car Spring Training testing session with a top lap of 50.584 seconds (118.781mph).

The rookie Frenchman posted the quick lap in the third of four practice sessions at Sebring on Thursday, which brought a successful five-day stretch of testing and promotional activity for the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series in Florida to a close. After a pair of media days in St. Petersburg kicked things off on Sunday and Monday, Bourdais made his official Champ Car on-track debut an impressive one on Tuesday when he topped the time sheets with a lap of 50.953 seconds (117.920 mph). He gave way to series veteran Oriol Servia, Patrick Racing, yesterday but ultimately ended Spring Training as the fastest driver in two of the test session's three days of practice.

Third-year Champ Car pilot Bruno Junqueira gave Newman/Haas a one-two sweep of the top spots at Spring Training with a Thursday lap of 50.804 seconds (118.266 mph). Also turning his fastest laps of the test at Sebring on Thursday was Mexico's Michel Jourdain, of Team Rahal who clocked in at 50.841 seconds (118.180 mph). The top three were the only drivers to break the 118 mph barrier over the course of the three days.

Champ Car Spring Training, which was held at Sebring for the first time since the event was started in 1996, saw a full field of cars running in front of nearly 2,000 spectators. The days went incident-free and all 18 drivers will be ready to line-up on the grid at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on February 21-23.

-brands hatch/ah-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Bruno Junqueira , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais , Michel Jourdain