HOMESTEAD, Fla. (December 21, 2000) -- Two-time CART Fedex Championship Series champion Alex Zanardi borrowed teammate Tony Kanaan's #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-powered 2001 Reynard for his first two days of testing with his new team in preparation for the 2001 season.
The 34-year-old Zanardi logged 334 virtually trouble-free miles over the 2.16-mile Homestead Miami Speedway road course on Wednesday and Thursday in his first behind-the-wheel duty in a Champ Car since a two-day testing stint last July during which he sat in for an injured Kanaan.
Photo courtesy of LAT
He borrowed Kanaan's car once again this week while awaiting delivery of the #66 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-powered 2001 Reynard that the 1997-98 series champion will campaign full-time this coming season.
Kanaan put in 189 miles here on Monday and Tuesday in what he also termed a virtually trouble-free test.
The team now returns to its brand new shop facility in Indianapolis for the Holidays and will resume an aggressive testing schedule after the first of the year. The 22-race schedule for 2001 commences March 11 at a brand new road course in Monterrey, Mexico.
Photo courtesy LAT
"That was one of the best Christmas presents I've ever received. It feels great to be back in a Champ Car again. What we did last summer at Sebring was just a little something to whet my appetite. But we came here and rolled up our sleeves and went to work from the moment I got here. I feel really good. It was a little harder the first day. I have been working out as I always have during this last year, but nothing can make those driving muscles work like when you are actually driving the race car. The second day I felt much, much better, and the car felt really good. It is good to be working with Morris again, too. There has always been a special chemistry between the two of us and I'm happy to say it is still there after my time away from Champ Cars. I am really looking forward to the season with my new team. I have a great teammate in Tony, who has only one fault that I can tell ... he is too bloody fast! Seriously, we are a good pair, and I know that we will be very good for each other. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everybody!"
"So far, so good. This was our first test for the new season, and we seem to have gotten off on the right foot. It was a fairly productive four days with Tony and Alex. We are beginning to incorporate some new faces into our lineup, not only in Alex, but with the additional crew that we are starting to bring on board as our team grows. It's great to have Alex with us. He is definitely ready to race again. Tony is back with us another year older and wiser. Tony and Alex will be very good for each other, and for our team. They are both very excited, as is everybody in our organization. We certainly have a lot of work to do before the season starts, but everybody seems to have a little extra spring in their step. Let's hope we can turn that into a successful season on the race track."