LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (December 15, 2000) --- Newman/Haas Racing is busy getting ready for their assault on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season from their Lincolnshire, Ill. base and at test tracks in Florida.
To date, six new employees have been hired to assist with winter testing duties as well as an expanded 22-race schedule that will bring CART champ car racing to eight countries in 2001. New for 2001 will be an additional race in Texas as well as one Mexico, Germany and England.
The team took delivery of their first 2001 Lola chassis on November 30 with two more coming shortly after that as well as the fourth chassis being delivered yesterday. The first test with the 2001 race car will take place next week, December 20-22 at Sebring International Raceway with Big Kmart/Route 66 driver Christian Fittipaldi, who is CART's most recent race winner with his $1 million victory in the season finale Marlboro 500, behind the wheel.
<small>Cristiano da Matta's "new Look". Photo courtesy JJ O'Malley Homestead-Miami Speedway, ©2000
"I am happy with the progress we made at Homestead, especially since it was only my third day on the job with Newman/Haas," said da Matta, who scored his first CART victory earlier this year at Chicago Motor Speedway. "We ran competitive times even though we were running with a 2000 car rather than a 2001. It is a new experience for me to run with a Lola chassis and with this team so I am getting acclimated with everything and everyone. The Lola feels good and so does the Newman/Haas setup. We are running 37" of boost instead of 40 so the car feels slower at first until you get used to it. I think it was the right decision to lower the boost in the interest of safety. I can't wait to run with the 2001 car and see how we compare against the others."
The 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season opener will take place on March 11 in Monterrey, Mexico. The series will compete in 22 races in eight countries around the world in 2001.
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