FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Feb. 23, 2001) - A fast, competitive Texas 600 CART FedEx Championship Series race is being forecast following the completion of test sessions from four of the series' leading teams at Texas Motor Speedway.
Inclement weather hindered the teams from the planned three days of testing, delaying Wednesday's first session and canceling Friday's final practice. Participating in the tests were Dario Franchitti (Team KOOL Green Reynard/Honda), Mauricio Gugelmin and Scott Dixon (Nextel PacWest Reynard/Toyota), Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Reynard/Honda) and Tora Takagi (Pioneer Reynard/Toyota).
Unofficial speeds for the participating teams ranged from 220 to 224 mph around the 1.5-mile banked superspeedway. Most of the participants concentrated on getting acquainted with the 24-degree banked corners and race configurations.
"We are pulling 3 Gs in the corners, it is very different than any other track we have run," said Franchitti. "Running two-wide through the corners won't be any problem. We have been out practicing with our race setups; we haven't even looked at qualifying setups. We have moved to higher gears as we have been hitting the rev limiter."
"I was flat-out all the way around and we were able to do several long runs," said Gugelmin. "We tried a few different things on the car to try to learn this track and its high banks, and I think we've walked away with some useful information. This is a magnificent facility, and I think the race here in April will be quite a show. I'm looking forward to it."
Takagi's first visit to Texas Motor Speedway was cut short to about 20 laps when gearbox difficulties sidelined Derek Walker's team.
Tickets for the Texas 600 are on sale at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com or at Ticketmaster locations.