CHAMPCAR/CART: Norberto Fontana Sets the Pace on Homestead''s Road Course

Indianapolis, Ind. (March 2, 2000) - Argentine Norberto Fontana turned the fastest lap of the day with a time of 108.0 seconds on Homestead's 2.21 mile road course, completing a two-day driver evaluation with Della Penna Motorsports. The test ...

Indianapolis, Ind. (March 2, 2000) - Argentine Norberto Fontana turned the fastest lap of the day with a time of 108.0 seconds on Homestead's 2.21 mile road course, completing a two-day driver evaluation with Della Penna Motorsports. The test marked the 25-year-old talent's first time behind the wheel of a Champ Car.

"I am pleasantly surprised with how quickly Norberto adapted to the car," said team owner John Della Penna. "We worked on the set-up of the car yesterday and today with Norberto consistently going faster. When the car was to his liking at the end of the day, he was able to go out on new tires and produce this fast time. He didn't just run one quick lap; he ran three or four laps at around 108 (seconds) flat."

"This was a very positive test for the team as well. Norberto offered us a different perspective on how the car was handling. We were able to learn from his input and improve upon our program as a whole."

Fontana completed 85 laps yesterday with a fast time of 108.9 seconds, consistently shaving down his times. Today he completed 52 laps after difficulties kept the team off the track until later in the afternoon.

"I am very happy with how the test went," said Fontana. "I like how you have to drive the car. Diane (Holl) made changes to the car step-by-step, so it was easy to adjust. By the end of the day, I was much more confident."

Fontana began his racing career at an early age competing in karts. He has collected several championships throughout his career including the Argentinean National Karting Championship (1991), Swiss Formula Ford Champion (1993) and German Formula 3 Champion (1995) beating out Formula One's Ralf Schumacher for the honor. Fontana competed in the Japanese Formula Nippon series from 1996 to 1998 with a career-high showing of third place in the series' championship in 1997. He also has experience in the International Formula 3000 Championship and Formula One to his credit.

Regular Della Penna Motorsports driver Richie Hearn takes over testing duties tomorrow and Saturday (March 3-4) on Homestead's oval in preparation for the season-opener Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota on March 26.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Richie Hearn , Norberto Fontana