TEAM KOOL GREENâ€™S â€œSEBRING 600â€ INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 22, 1999) â€“ Team KOOL Green conducted an intensive two-day test at Sebring International Raceway on the weekend of February 20-21 with drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy. The test,...
TEAM KOOL GREEN’S “SEBRING 600”
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 22, 1999) – Team KOOL Green conducted an intensive two-day test at Sebring International Raceway on the weekend of February 20-21 with drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy. The test, Team KOOL Green's first Champ Car outing since CART's Spring Training in early February, saw Franchitti and Tracy complete over 600 miles of chassis and Firestone tire development work.
Tracy focused his efforts on chassis development, experimenting with a variety of suspension and aerodynamic settings in an effort to optimize the KOOL Honda-Reynard 99I's performance in road course trim on control tires. Saturday saw Tracy run 115 miles and turn a best lap of 50.8s; Sunday he completed an additional 142 miles and trimmed several tenths off his time to get down to a best lap of 50.48s.
"I'm happy with the car and the progress we made," said Tracy. "I wanted to keep on running but we ran short of mileage on the engine and that put an early end to the day on Sunday. We got the car handling better; the balance was good. We just focused on road course/street circuit settings for Long Beach and Detroit; what was better, what was worse. We had no mechanical problems at all, and the engine was perfect; really good power, good driveability. It makes me wish we had more road courses at the beginning of the year!"
Franchitti completed more than 300 miles during the weekend testing tire compounds for Firestone, recording a lap of 50.13s on Saturday, then trimming .03s off that time on Sunday. Franchitti's quick lap of 50.1s is believed to have been the fastest of the weekend, which also saw Player's/Forsythe drivers Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier lapping in the mid- to low-50s range.
"It was a good test," said Franchitti. "We left the car pretty standard overall and just worked on tires. Considering that, we were pretty fast, so I'm encouraged by the results. Firestone has definitely made progress in certain areas. We did 105 laps Saturday and 95 laps Sunday. That's quite a lot of laps and it's pretty hard work, considering you're doing a qualifying lap each time. We ran a brand new car and it was great out of the box. The engine feels really good; I'm really happy with the engine."
The Champ Car crew wasn't the only element of Team KOOL Green hard at work over the last few days. The Indy Lights team tested at Sebring last week with Jonny Kane and will continue testing at Homestead today and tommorrow. Meanwhile, Team KOOL Green's Toyota Atlantic crew tested with Alex Gurney at Buttonwillow Motorsports Park in California and is scheduled for two days at Phoenix International Raceway this week.