JACKSON, MI - - August 3, 2000 - - Patrick Racing concluded a very productive two-day test at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 1-2, confident that the results would greatly enhance their chances of capturing the FedEx Championship Series title.
With the next two races both on permanent road courses, and six of the final eight races on road or street circuits, the test allowed the team to experiment with a variety of different set-ups in anticipation of some very competitive and crucial races.
"The Patrick Racing team had a very productive test at Road America," said Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee. "We ran two days and made some very positive headway with the Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworths for the upcoming permanent road courses.
"Road America is one of the fastest road courses and it has a lot of different types of corners, so a lot of the work we did the last two days will apply to Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca," continued McGee. "We were able to work on the overall configuration of the car, try a lot of different things and we are coming to a conclusion on what the car wants on these types of tracks. We have had good cars on the road and street circuits throughout the first part of the season, so this test has just added to the data we had and should provide us with the additional information we need. Although we made a lot of changes and tried a lot of different things we were very competitive. Overall I am very pleased with the results of the test," McGee said.
Roberto Moreno, in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, also noted the importance of testing at Road America because of its length and corner diversity saying, "Because Road America is so long and has so many different types of corners and elevation changes, it is an ideal place to test. Nothing can compare to testing on a course like Road America in terms of preparing a car.
"It was a very productive test and I am very happy with the way the Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth performed. We developed a lot of new things and made a big step as far as the set-up and the endurance of the car for the road courses," said Moreno.
For Moreno the next two races will be crucial in his pursuit of the FedEx Championship Series title. After leading the points race for almost a month, he is now second in the standings. The 41-year-old Brazilian trials Michael Andretti by 22 points, 120-98. Moreno has finished eight of 12 races, each time in the top-10 including four podium showings. He captured his first career CART victory at Cleveland, took seconds at Miami and Portland and a third in Japan. The Weston, Florida resident has qualified in the top-10 in eight of 12 races, with one pole (a CART career first at Cleveland). He is third in laps and miles completed and fifth in laps led.
Adrian Fernandez, in the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, who has fought his way back into the thick of the championship race, was equally pleased with the results of the two-day test. "It was a good test for Patrick Racing," said Fernandez. "Once again Roberto (teammate Roberto Moreno) and I were able to work very well together and produce some very positive results."
Fernandez also noted that, "Road America is one of my favorite tracks to race and my favorite track to test. It is a good place to try different things. You can experiment there and a lot of what you learn will apply to other road circuits.
"We ran a lot of miles and, basically, tried a lot of different things during the test. We worked on the brakes, springs, suspension settings and things like that. Even with all the changes were able to run some very quick times and that makes me feel very confident," Fernandez said.
The 35-year-old Mexican is currently sixth in the FedEx Championship Series standings with 79 points. He is just three points out of fourth and 10 out of third. Fernandez has finished nine of 12 races this year, placing in the top-10 eight times including four top five finishes with a win in Rio. He has scored points in nine races. The Paradise Valley, Arizona resident has qualified in the top-10 in seven of 12 races. He is fourth in laps completed, fifth in miles completed; and ninth in laps led.