INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy celebrated his 33rd birthday on Monday, December 17, while lapping the two-mile California Speedway as part of a Bridgestone tire test. CART competitor Christian Fittipaldi and IRL drivers Robbie Buhl and Scott Sharp joined Tracy in his birthday test.
The 2001 Team KOOL Green Honda-Reynard ran flawlessly during the test, which continued on Tuesday, enabling Tracy to record a total of 498 miles. According to team manager Kyle Moyer, they concentrated on testing tires rather than chassis or aerodynamic development work.
"We put a nice comfortable setup on the car and let Paul go out and just turn laps," he said. "Because we were testing tires we didn't work on the car's setup or aerodynamics, we just wanted to make sure Bridgestone got all the data they need."
The team wrapped up the test early Tuesday afternoon and Moyer credits the car's preparation for being able to finish the test a little early.
"I'm really proud of all the guys, the last two weeks have been tough," he said. "We took delivery on a new car and tested it less than a week later at Sebring without any trouble. Then we traveled from Florida to California and had another flawless test. The TKG crew has worked really hard so we can get the most out of these tests."
"It's not always fun to work on your birthday but let me tell you driving around California Speedway in qualifying trim is always exciting," said Tracy. "Hopefully Bridgestone learned a lot from all the miles we ran. They have always given us great tires and tests like these show how they stay ahead of the game."
Team KOOL Green now heads back to Indianapolis to celebrate the holidays before resuming testing in early January.