CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing completes Laguna Seca test

JACKSON, MI - - FEBRUARY 16, 2001 - - Patrick Racing completed its fifth test of the pre-season in preparation for the start of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series, running for three-days, February 13-15, at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, ...

JACKSON, MI - - FEBRUARY 16, 2001 - - Patrick Racing completed its fifth test of the pre-season in preparation for the start of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series, running for three-days, February 13-15, at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.

Roberto Moreno ran the first two days of the test with Jimmy Vasser taking over on the third day. Moreno spent most of his two days, the first of which was run in extremely cold conditions, working on the set-up. His fastest time of the two days was run on the second day, Wednesday, when he turned a quick lap of 109.7 seconds. Vasser then took over, and building on what Moreno had developed, had a solid day on Thursday turning a fast lap of 108.3 seconds.

"We worked a lot on developing the car the first two days of the test," said Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee. "On the morning of the third day we made some gains and Jimmy was able to run a very competitive time. Unfortunately, that was the last day of the test and we still needed to do some development work, so we had to focus on that instead of looking for more speed.

Moreno, who is entering his eighth CART season and second piloting the Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, ran 340 miles, 125 on Tuesday and 215 on Wednesday, during his two days at Laguna Seca.

"Overall, I am happy with the way things went during the test," Moreno said. "The first day the conditions at the track were extremely cold. It was in the 40's in the morning so we did not get on the track until after 10:00 a.m. On the second day it was much warmer and we got a lot of work done. We tried a lot of different things and by mid-day the car was handling good and I was able to run my fastest time. That afternoon we spent a lot of time working on the shocks and suspension. Even though I wasn't the fastest, we got a lot of work done and we had a good direction for Jimmy to go in to improve the car."

Vasser, who is entering his tenth CART season and first with Patrick Racing, ran over 200 miles on the third day and said, "We had a good test at Laguna Seca. We worked a lot on developing a solid foundation for the road course set-up and made good progress. We made one good leap forward in the morning and then worked on some different things in the afternoon. I think we are definitely moving in the right direction with our road course set-up. With one more road course test set for the end of the month we should be in good shape for the start of the season.

McGee also noted that the pre-season testing program has gone well for Patrick Racing saying, "Overall, I am very happy with the way our pre-season testing program has gone. The car has proved to be very reliable. That is the primary objective during pre-season, to develop reliability. This is going to be a very competitive season and we are going to be right in the thick of it from a reliability standpoint. We still need to do some work on our pitstops and race strategy, but other than that we are in very good shape for the start of the season."

Next up for Patrick Racing is a three-day test at Texas Motorspeedway in Ft. Worth, Texas, February 21-23. The team's final test before the start of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series season will be on the Homestead, Florida road course, February 27-28.

-PR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno