JACKSON, MI - - November 17, 2000 - - Less than three weeks after the conclusion of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season, one of the most successful in the history of Patrick Racing, the Visteon/Patrick Racing team and driver Roberto Moreno...
JACKSON, MI - - November 17, 2000 - - Less than three weeks after the conclusion of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season, one of the most successful in the history of Patrick Racing, the Visteon/Patrick Racing team and driver Roberto Moreno were hard at work preparing for the 2001 championship battle.
The team took delivery of its first new Reynard 01I on Sunday, November 11. They spent the next two days assembling the car and installing a new 2001 Toyota engine before leaving for their first test, a two-day affair in Sebring, Fl., November 16-17. The #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard took to the track for the first time on Thursday, November 16th. Moreno ran only 50 miles that first day as the Visteon/Patrick Racing crew did installation checks and the Toyota engineers rigged additional telemetry. They followed up with a more extensive session on Friday, November 17, running a "couple hundred trouble -free miles" with all parties pronouncing themselves impressed with the results.
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing crew did a tremendous job preparing the car for the test at Sebring in so little time," said Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee. "Overall it was a great test. The first day was mostly an installation day so we didn't run a lot of laps. It was the first time we ran the new Toyota engine so we just wanted to shake down the car. However, the second day we ran a couple of hundred trouble-free miles and were very impressed with the results. The Toyota engine ran great and the test was a complement to Reynard for the job they have done with the new car," concluded McGee.
Moreno, who is the first Patrick Racing driver to run a Toyota following the switch from Ford-Cosworth, said, "I am impressed with the new 2001 Toyota engine. It is awesome. I love the throttle response and the fact that the engine was competitive right out of the box. I am also impressed with the way the Toyota people react to the adjustments we suggest and how they work with the Visteon/Patrick Racing team."
Patrick Racing's move to Toyota power follows phenomenal years for both the team and manufacturer in 2000. Patrick Racing finished second and third in the championship standings leading the series in several statistical categories including laps, miles and races completed, points, top-10 and top-five finishes while tying for most podium showings. Meanwhile, Toyota had a break-through year with a Toyota -powered driver leading the series in wins, poles, laps led and tied for the series lead in fastest race laps with seven.
Next up for Patrick Racing is a vehicle dynamics shake rig test at the Ohlins facility in Ashville, N. C., November 21-22. Following that the team will head back to Sebring for another two-day test on December 4-5.
PATRICK RACING NOTES:
2000 FedEx Championship Series Season Second Best In Patrick History:
Patrick Racing placed two drivers in the top three in the championship standings for the first time in over two decades during the 2000 season. The performance was the second best by two Patrick drivers in team history. Gordon Johncock and Wally Dallenbach, finished first and third respectively, in 1976 (Emerson Fittipaldi's title in 1989 was a one-car effort).
Patrick Racing Most Dominant Team In 2000 FedEx Championship Series:
Patrick Racing was the only team with two drivers in the top six let alone top three in the 2000 FedEx Championship Series standings. Combining the statistics of both drivers, Patrick Racing was first in points (305), races finished (31 of 40), top-10 (27) and top five (16) finishes, and tied for first in podiums (11). They are first in laps (5177) and miles (8616.473) completed.
Moreno Has Career Year In First Season With Patrick Racing:
Moreno had a career year in 2000, his first with Patrick Racing. He placed a career high third in the standings, led the CART standings for the first time and captured his first CART victory and pole. He was out of the top five in the standings only once and in the top three for most of the season. Moreno finished 14 of 20 races (tied for fourth) each time in the points. He had 12 top-10 showings (tied for fourth) including eight top five finishes (tied for first) and six podium appearances (tied for second) with one victory (tied for seventh). Moreno finished second in miles and laps completed, and sixth in laps led.
McGee Holds Record For Most Wins:
Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee is tops on the all-time wins list for a Manager/Chief Mechanic with 89. McGee has nine national championships and is the only Manager/Chief Mechanic to win a championship in four decades (60's - 90's). He has at least one victory in each of his last five decades (his 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's) and a least one victory in each of the last five decades (60's-00).
Patrick Racing Facts:
Patrick Racing, which enters its 29th year of competition in 2001, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing with 44 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships (1976 - Gordon Johncock and 1989 - Emerson Fittipaldi). U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Series.