CHAMPCAR/CART: Pac West Phoenix Test Day Four

Phoenix, AZ – While many North Americans were stocking their refrigerators with supplies for tomorrow's Superbowl, the PacWest Racing team was stocking its database with information from yet another day of testing at the Firebird East road...

Phoenix, AZ – While many North Americans were stocking their refrigerators with supplies for tomorrow's Superbowl, the PacWest Racing team was stocking its database with information from yet another day of testing at the Firebird East road course in Phoenix today.

The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the venue for tomorrow's big game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans, was the last thing on the mind of team driver Mauricio Gugelmin as he tried to make the most of a private day of testing on the recently reconfigured road course.

It was the fourth day of testing in five days for the Indianapolis-based team, which is focusing toward the opening round of the FedEx Championship Series at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida on March 24-26.

The Firebird East circuit, created about 10 years ago, recently had a 90-degree turn included on the front part of the track which has allowed for the simulation of more street course conditions.

It was the first time PacWest had run on the new-look circuit and that did not allow the team to make any comparisons with previously recorded lap times.

Gugelmin ran about 115 miles in a full day of testing that was only interrupted by a few minor problems.

"It is cold here in Phoenix early in the morning and it is hard to get the heat into the tires, but we progressed as the day went on," said Gugelmin.

"We ran with two totally different set-ups and we added plenty to the database, although it would have been nice to run a few more miles.

"We have set a target of having a single direction for each of the three different types of courses we run on (road, street, oval) and I think we are well on the way to achieving just that.

"We ran the cars back-to-back and really experimented with a few things.

"I think today we made a good start for when Mark (Blundell) gets in the car tomorrow."

The PacWest team will be on the track for the last time tomorrow before the annual Spring Training session at Homestead on February 8-10.

Mark Blundell, who is a Phoenix resident, will pick up from where Gugelmin left off in his first road course test session of the pre-season.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell