Barber Dodge Pro Series Race winner Matt Plumb returned to the familiar surroundings of the Dodge Reynard 98E cockpit earlier this week at Sebring International Raceway and stepped out with the quickest time over the course of the two-day pre-season test. Plumb recorded a time nearly on par with the quick time set by Ryan Hunter-Reay earlier this month at 1:07.95 sec. around the 2-mile test circuit. Plumb set the time in the morning of the second day having shaved several tenths off his first day's time. Hunter-Reay's time, reputed to be one of the quickest ever recorded in Barber Dodge testing was set just over a fort-night ago at 1:07.30 sec. While differing weather and track conditions make the two test times incomparable, both drivers are clearly well on the pace in preparation for their 2001 campaigns.
The second fastest driver of the test was rookie hopeful Davy Cook. The Formula Dodge National Championship veteran posted a quick time of 1:08.40 sec. on the first day of the test. He was followed by Sara Senske who continues to pound out the testing miles. Her quick time was also set on the first day of the test at 1:08.47 sec.
Akihira Okamoto was once again impressive in only his second outing in the Barber Dodge racer. He lapped the Sebring test circuit in 1:08.48 sec, proving that his first go around wasn't down to beginner's luck. Two drivers had impressive maiden tests. Juan Manuel Polar, a Formula Dodge Regional Championship veteran from Peru was able to grab his Dodge Reynard by the scruff and scoot around the Sebring track in 1:08.50 sec. Also making her first Barber Dodge foray was Vanina Ickx son of the legendary Jacki Ickx, six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A racer in her own right, Vanina comes with European Touring car experience as well as having raced in the Paris-Cairo-Dakar Rally Raid. She ended the two-day trial sixth quickest with a fast lap of 1:08.93 sec.
Rounding out the test were Rhonda Trammell at 1:08.95, Tom Wieringa at a 1:09.08 and Jon Vannini at a 1:09.28.
Testing for the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series resumes at Sebring International Raceway on January 3-4.