CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal wraps pre-holiday testing

HILLIARD, OHIO . . . Team Rahal completed the pre-holiday portion of the team's off-season testing program this week with a single-day CART supervised test at the Texas Motor Speedway in suburban Dallas, TX. The Monday test completed the...

HILLIARD, OHIO . . . Team Rahal completed the pre-holiday portion of the team's off-season testing program this week with a single-day CART supervised test at the Texas Motor Speedway in suburban Dallas, TX. The Monday test completed the initial testing with the team's 2001 package consisting of the Ford-Cosworth XF engine, the Lola B2K/00 chassis and Firestone Firehawk tires. The preseason-testing program kicked off with three full days at Sebring International Raceway in Florida in early December. Miller Lite driver Max Papis spent a full day on track on December 6th and Kenny Brack in the Shell car spent two full days on track December 7th and 8th. Over the test Team Rahal logged over 500 miles and compiled enough data on the 2001 cars that the team has rescheduled its January 7th and 8th test on the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Team Rahal Technical Coordinator Ray Leto was impressed with the first test of the off season. "The Lola chassis ran flawless and we were able to make some significant progress for our first test with a new chassis," said Leto. "We came back from Sebring with so much data that we have reshuffled our testing schedule. With the new testing rules in place you need to be properly organized heading into each test day and we felt we needed additional time to sort through all the data. This was basically a get acquainted with the chassis session for the team and the drivers. That fact we were able to actually accomplish more than gaining some familiarity with the package speaks volumes about our package for this season." Following the test at Sebring, the team sent a Lola chassis to Ford Advanced Engineering Center for a week's worth of specialized testing. The car split the time in Dearborn, MI between the Vehicle Inertia Measurement Facility (VIMF) and the Kinematics Compliance Rig (K & C Test). Both tests are part of Team Rahal's ongoing relationship with Ford Motor Company, a relationship that has grown with Team Rahal's designation as the factory team for Ford-Cosworth in 2001. Finally on Monday the team completed the pre-Christmas portion of testing by conducting a one-day on-track test at Texas Motor Speedway for CART. Kenny Brack, the only driver in CART to have driven previously at TMS drove one of Team Rahal's 2000 Reynard chassis with the Ford-Cosworth XF engine. The test was primarily to help CART as the FedEx Championship Series sanctioning body to determine what rules package needs to be implemented for the April 30th race in Dallas. Brack logged over 100 laps at TMS with speeds ranging between 215 and 221 mph. The team will take delivery of three additional Lola chassis in early January and will spend the early part of the month preparing the cars for an aggressive testing schedule in late January and February leading up to the 2001 season opener in Monterrey, Mexico. The team will have its next on track test January 22nd at Firebird East in suburban Phoenix, AZ.

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Series INDYCAR