Phoenix, AZ -- Motorola Mercedes-Benz Reynard driver Mark Blundell set the second quickest time of several leading Champ Car drivers during the second day of a test session at Phoenix International Raceway today. Blundell, who climbed back into...
Phoenix, AZ -- Motorola Mercedes-Benz Reynard driver Mark Blundell set the second quickest time of several leading Champ Car drivers during the second day of a test session at Phoenix International Raceway today.
Blundell, who climbed back into the driver's seat for the first time in almost three months yesterday, posted a time of 20.5 seconds around the one-mile oval.
He was second only to Patrick Racing's Roberto Moreno who clocked a lap of 20.48 seconds in closing laps of the day, according to the PacWest timing system.
Blundell's time was a strong testament to the new Mercedes-Benz IC108F engine package and its cohesion with the newly developed 2KI Reynard chassis.
Today's time suggests the new short-oval wing package is doing its job in slowing the cars down with PacWest having previously run in the 19-second bracket at the regular testing venue.
Blundell was also a lot more comfortable in the car today after his team made the necessary adjustments to the new cockpit of the Reynard overnight.
There was virtually silence at the track mid-way through the day after a windstorm blew a lot of dust on the track, making it dangerously slippery.
Blundell, who is looking forward to a full season in the FedEx Championship Series after missing eight races last year with a neck injury, was obviously pleased to record such a time in only his second test day of the pre-season for PacWest Racing.
"Today's session certainly provides plenty of reasons why we should be confident for the season ahead," said Blundell. "We got to evaluate a lot of things using both our new chassis over about 110 laps. "It was a very solid workout, apart from the time we lost to the wind storm, and I think everyone learnt a hell of a lot. "We had some work to do with the brand new wing package, but the times certainly indicate we are heading in the right direction."
Other drivers at today's test included Max Papis, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Helio Castro-Neves, Patrick Carpentier and Alexandre Tagliani.
Mauricio Gugelmin will continue testing for PacWest at PIR tomorrow and the team will move across town to the Firebird East circuit on the weekend where Gugelmin will test on Saturday and Blundell on Sunday.