Event: Sebring International Raceway Test Session Date: March 8, 2003 Encouraging test cut short at Sebring. Sebring, Fla. (March 8, 2003) -- Team Olive Garden's initial Sebring test yesterday was cut short after just 20 laps here when a...
Event: Sebring International Raceway Test Session
Date: March 8, 2003
Encouraging test cut short at Sebring.
Sebring, Fla. (March 8, 2003) -- Team Olive Garden's initial Sebring test yesterday was cut short after just 20 laps here when a starter motor gear broke and cascaded into heavy damage to the clutch, gear- box casing and drive shaft. It was the case of the proverbial "two- dollar part" that will prevent the team from proceeding with a plan- ned two days of testing over the weekend leading up to the classic American Le Mans Series endurance race.
Team leader Gabriele Rafanelli took the trouble in stride, however.
"I'm glad this wasn't Thursday next week! While we managed only about 20 laps today, Emanuele Naspetti got down to the 2 minute 3 second range (lap time) and that was basically our rollout test for the new car. The boys are hard at work and a couple of the other teams here and those on the way are helping us to turn things around fast so that we expect to be running again on Monday."
Team Olive Garden Driver Quotes:
"It's really encouraging to see that in our shakedown laps at Sebring, with virtually no rubber on the circuit, and with the new smaller restrictors, Emanuele was able to make a lap within a few seconds of the GTS qualifying record. We don't know what kind of progress the others have made over the winter but we have made a massive improve- ment"
"The new car is very stable and I must say the Pirelli tires showed me some great potential. Their grip level was very high con- sidering there was no rubber on the circuit and I was impressed with both the directional stability and the transient behavior.
Naspetti on the incident:
"I was down-shifting for turn two and bang-- it broke and the pieces must have severed a rear brake line because instantly, I lost the rear brakes, locked the front and went straight into the tire wall. I have the Sebring circuit to thank because it is really safe. It could have been a lot worse if it had happened elsewhere."