Indianapolis, Indiana (December 2, 1999) - Eddie Cheever and his brother, Ross Cheever, will be teaming up this weekend at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida for the first track test of the new 3.5-liter Infiniti Indy engine, designated the VRH35DE.
This will be the first of many test sessions scheduled by Team Cheever and Infiniti for the engine program and will run separately to any testing scheduled for the 2000 chassis/tire/engine package. The team will use their 1999 Dallara chassis this weekend to test the new engine formula as they wait to receive their Riley & Scott chassis.
"We are planning an aggressive testing program with Infiniti for 2000," said the 1998 Indy 500 winner, Eddie Cheever. "For the next six months, we are going to milk every second to make sure we are the most competitive package that shows up in May. In 1999, we showed how strong this Infiniti Indy engine is; in 2000, we plan to show its reliability and its ability to win races."
"We are going to take every means necessary to ensure that we have a reliable and competitive engine. If it was feasible to run a million miles by May, we'd be the first to do it," described Team Manager, Dick Caron. "When you have an entirely new package like we do this year...engines, tires, chassis...it is crucial that we give each element its due diligence. Therefore, in January, when we get the rest of our equipment, we plan to maintain an engine development program that can run parallel to a full chassis test program."
Known for his fast speeds and top qualifying capabilities, Ross Cheever has several championships under his belt. In the mid-1990s, Cheever was a Japanese Formula 3 Champion as well as a two-time Formula Pacific Champion racing alongside future Formula One stars, Eddie Irvine, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert and Michael Schumacher. Early in his career, in 1984, he was Tasman series Champion beating out teammate, Davey Jones. Prior to a personal five-year hiatus, Cheever raced Indy Cars with A.J. Foyt Enterprises in 1992.
"Ross is a very fast driver who would love nothing more than to be given the chance to show his older brother a thing or two," joked the team owner, Cheever, before turning to a more serious note. "Coming from the same background as Kenny Brack, he will be a real asset with our test program. I am really looking forward to working with him this weekend."
Associate sponsors of Team Cheever include netoy.com, Menards, Ceramiche Ragno, Infiniti, Firestone, STP, Bosch, and Pennzoil.