PacWest Learns Plenty from Firebird Test

Phoenix, AZ - Young American PacWest Lights driver Tony Renna wrapped up a productive two-day test at Firebird Raceway outside Phoenix today, logging over 250 incident-free miles in preparation for his assault on the 2000 PPG-Dayton Indy...

Phoenix, AZ - Young American PacWest Lights driver Tony Renna wrapped up a productive two-day test at Firebird Raceway outside Phoenix today, logging over 250 incident-free miles in preparation for his assault on the 2000 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights championship.

"We had a very productive two days," said Renna, a 23-year-old Florida native who recently moved to Indianapolis to be closer to PacWest's shop.

"It was a great opportunity to do a lot of shock testing, and I think we made some real gains when it comes to "mechanical" grip.

"I think we learned a tremendous amount during this test which we will be able to draw on at so many different circuits during the season.

"I am looking forward to running on an oval in a couple of days' time.

"I think we have a great car and I just love being behind the wheel - I don't care where we are."

The team decided to stay with a low downforce set-up, because that's what it will run at the majority of races next season, according to PacWest Lights Team Manager, Paul "Ziggy" Harcus.

"Tony's time was only one tenth off that of Casey Mears (according to PacWest timing), who was running a high downforce set-up," said Harcus.

"Considering how little downforce we were running, we're pretty pleased with the results."

Renna, who will contest his second full season of Indy Lights competition in 2000 in addition to serving as PacWest's Champ Car testing and development driver, will remain in Arizona for an oval test session at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday.

The test will be Renna's first at the well-known circuit, but not his first run on a small oval for PacWest.

Renna qualified on the front-row and finished third in his PacWest debut at the Milwaukee Mile earlier this year.

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Series INDYLIGHTS