Swift-ly Acclimated

(December 24, 1998) - Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford) tested the 1999 Swift 010.c chassis for the first time Wednesday at Sebring International Raceway, following two days of testing by his Newman/Haas Racing teammate, Christian Fittipaldi (Kmart Swift Ford). Andretti was up to speed quickly in the new Swift, as right out of the box, he bettered times from a week-old test at Sebring in 1998 equipment.

"The 1999 car definitely has more downforce," Andretti said. "We immediately ran quicker than we had in the 1998 car one week before at Sebring. We had better track conditions this time, so it is hard to say how much of that was because of the car. It has been a few years since I have tested a new car before Christmas, and I can definitely say it makes you a lot more confident. We are way ahead of the game this time and it can only be a benefit."

Following his day-long test at Sebring, Andretti traveled to Phoenix International Raceway, where he tested a 1998 equipment package with CART's new aerodynamic specification for short (one-mile) ovals. "My initial impression was that you have to drive the car more," Andretti said following the two-day test. "The new wing will probably slow the cars down two seconds from where they would normally be with the technological advances."

"Driving the car is a lot more difficult, but the change will serve its purpose and make it safer for the drivers. With the wing, we are driving 20 to 30 miles per hour slower in the corners. You don't have [as much] downforce as before. You have to be more delicate with the throttle. You have to re-teach yourself how to maneuver these cars. Overall, the wing has slowed the cars down, and that is a good direction to go."

Source: CART Online