CHAMP CAR TESTING WRAPS UP IN SEBRING
SEBRING, Fla. (December 14, 2005) -- The first test in preparation for the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season wrapped up today at Sebring Raceway with lots of promise for the upcoming year.
Five Champ Car pilots took to the 1.699-mile South Florida track with Bruno Junqueira and Giorgio Pantano sharing the top spot on the final time sheets with laps at 50.9 seconds. Perfect conditions were the story of the day as temperatures stayed in the low 70s and two days of Bridgestone Potenza rubber had been laid down giving the track optimum grip.
Pantano completed his second day of testing for the PKV Racing outfit and was joined in the red and white livery by Ryan Briscoe who was also on track Monday. Bruno Junqueira also returned after a one-day hiatus and didn't miss a beat getting the PacifiCare car right back up to speed.
"We had a very good test," said the 29-year-old Brazilian Junqueira. "The Newman/Haas team did a great job preparing the PacifiCare car and I feel very comfortable. I'm really happy to be back driving the car and I can't wait until my next time testing."
Also on track were the top two finishers in last years Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, Charles Zwolsman and Tonis Kasemets. Zwolsman tested on Tuesday and also ran the Champ Car season finale at Mexico City but it still took him some time to get used to the bigger, faster Champ Car.
"The test went pretty good," said the 2005 Atlantic Champion, Zwolsman. "Every time we went out for a run we improved so that was very encouraging. It took me a while to settle into the car because we are running more downforce than I did in Mexico City. I took my time feeling out the car. I know I can go quicker I used need to put a whole lap together."
Tonis Kasemets day was anything but typical after spinning and making contact with the wall within an hour of the track opening for practice. The Mi-Jack Conquest team repaired the damage to the car but Kasemets was limited to just a few laps at speed.
The preseason testing schedule is just getting stated as PKV Racing will return to Sebring next week for more testing. Katherine Legge, who made her debut in a Champ Car on Tuesday afternoon, will get two full days on track to familiarize herself with a 750hp Champ Car.
<pre> Wednesday (12/14/05) Lap Times 1. Bruno Junqueira 50.9 seconds 2. Giorgio Pantano 50.9 3. Ryan Briscoe 51.0 4. Charles Zwolsman 51.8 5. Tonis Kasemets 54.4
Combined Lap Times 1. Bruno Junqueira 50.9 seconds 2. Giorgio Pantano 50.9 3. Ryan Briscoe 51.0 4. Ryan Dalziel 51.5 5. Charles Zwolsman 51.8 6. Alx Danielsson 52.1 7 Jan Heylen 52.1 8. Richard Lyons 52.2 9. Katherine Legge 53.2 10. Dan Clarke 53.5 11. Tonis Kasemets 54.4