CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas Racing Sebring test 2007-01-23

NEWMAN/HAAS RACING COMPLETED DAY 1 OF TESTING AT SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY SEBRING, Fla. (January 23, 2007) -- The 2007 Champ Car World Series testing season began today with the first of a three-day test on the 1.65-mile course at Sebring...

NEWMAN/HAAS RACING COMPLETED DAY 1 OF TESTING AT SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

SEBRING, Fla. (January 23, 2007) -- The 2007 Champ Car World Series testing season began today with the first of a three-day test on the 1.65-mile course at Sebring International Raceway. McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais was joined at the test by Graham Rahal, who ran while the team continues exploring sponsorship for a possible program this season. Both drivers made progress throughout the day.

"It was good to finally put some miles on the new Panoz after hearing about the car and planning for it for so long," said Bourdais who set the quickest lap of the day with a 51.024 after a total of 58 laps. "The speed is in the car but it behaves differently for sure so it will be a challenge to figure it out at each track. The important thing is that the essence of the car is still a Champ Car. We have many areas we can improve on to get the car to suit my style better but at the end of the day the thing that matters is being the quickest. We ran a good lap at the end of the day so we made some progress today."

"I think the car is very similar to the old car," said Rahal, who ran a total of 53 laps over the two sessions with a fast lap time of 51.837 to end the day ranked seventh overall. "I'm shocked it's as quick as it is already. Everything went smooth with the test today. We only had one problem with a brake duct which took away a bit of afternoon session but I have to give credit to Panoz because the car ran all day. The paddle shifting is very sensitive. It's another thing you have to keep in the back of your mind so you don't hit it too soon. The car is a lot of fun to drive. Now we just have to go find the (lap) time."

"We had minimal problems today which is great for a new car," said Brian Lisles, general manager of Newman/Haas Racing. "There is a lot of work yet to be done on the balance to extract the best performance."

The 2007 Champ Car World Series season begins on April 6-8 with the Vegas Grand Prix. The series will hold tests in Houston in February and Laguna Seca in March.

-credit: nhr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Graham Rahal , Sébastien Bourdais