CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Penske Phoenix testing

Marlboro Team Penske completed their first day of short oval testing yesterday on the one-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway. After limited running prior to the mid-day lunch break, defending CART FedEx Series Champion Gil de Ferran...

Marlboro Team Penske completed their first day of short oval testing yesterday on the one-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway. After limited running prior to the mid-day lunch break, defending CART FedEx Series Champion Gil de Ferran returned to the track for the afternoon session and completed more than 120 miles in his #1 Marlboro Honda Reynard. He had steadily worked his way into the low 21-second range when a late day crash ended the test.

"Being our first test on the short oval, we had a lot to learn about the new car," said de Ferran. "we were making good progress when the car over steered in turn one and hit the turn two wall with the left side. We damaged the left side of the car, but luckily I was able to walk away from the incident with only a swollen left ankle and a pair of bruised knees."

De Ferran, who remained conscious throughout the incident, was cleared on-site by CART’S Director of Safety ’Lon Bromley. He is scheduled to meet with CART’S Director of Medical Affairs, Dr. Steve Olvey, in Miami today to ensure he will be ready for Marlboro Team Penske’s upcoming test at the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval next week.

"Obviously this wasn’t how we wanted to end our test,’’ said Penske Racing President Tim Cindric, "but the good news is that Gil is OK and we should have the opportunity to have him in the car at Homestead as planned. This car will have to go back to Penske Cars to repair a few major components, but I’m confident we will recover in good form.’’

Marlboro Team Penske Team advisor Rick Mears was invited to be a member of the World Jury voting committee for the World Sports Awards 2000, held January 16 at the Royal Albert Hall in Landon. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time National Champion Mears joined an esteemed group of sports legends including Muhammad Ali, Bob Beamon, Bjorn Borg, Carl Lewis, Pele and Niki Lauda in selecting the 15 World Sportsmen and Women of the Year in nine different categories. In total, the World Jury is comprised of 71 jurors from 30 different countries. This year’s winners included Tiger Woods, Marion Jones, Michael Johnson, Venus Williams and Michael Schumacher

If the New York Giants win this weekend’s Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, that will make them Championship winners over three decades.

Gil de Ferran gave Marlboro Tern Penske their tenth National Championship over four decades when he captured the FedEx Series Championship at the season - ending Marlboro 500 at California Speedway last October.

Penske Racing has scored 10 Championships over 34 years (29.4%) putting them in the same league as the New York Yankees (29.9%), the Boston Celtics (29.6%) and the Montreal Canadians (25,4%). In the National Football League the Dallas Cowboys have the highest Championship percentage (12.6%).

-MTP

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Gil de Ferran , Rick Mears , Niki Lauda , Michael Johnson
Teams Williams , Team Penske , Team Penske