California Speedway test day two notes

ATLANTIC OPEN TEST CONCLUDES AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY WITH JONATHAN BOMARITO LEADING DEEP AND FAST FIELD FONTANA, California (March 22, 2006) -- The last two days offered the first opportunity for the teams of the Yokohama Presents the...

ATLANTIC OPEN TEST CONCLUDES AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY WITH JONATHAN BOMARITO LEADING DEEP AND FAST FIELD

FONTANA, California (March 22, 2006) -- The last two days offered the first opportunity for the teams of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda to test the brand-new 2006 Atlantic cars. But after viewing the results of Tuesday's and Wednesday's test sessions at the California Speedway infield road course, it seemed as if American rising star Jonathan Bomarito had been driving the new Atlantic since his feet could reach the pedals.

Testing under sunny skies and 70-degree temperatures Wednesday on the 1.495-mile road circuit, Atlantic competitors continued to log the miles while they tested the limits of the new Mazda-Cosworth/Swift 016.a/Yokohama machine. With the 2006 season opener fast approaching, Atlantic teams took full advantage of the perfect testing conditions to make final preparations on their cars before the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9.

Bomarito and the PR1 Motorsports team seemed to dial in quickly on the setup of the new car as the Monterey, California native posted the top lap in three of the four timed sessions over the course of the two-day test. Overall, Bomarito's quick time of 58.311 (92.298 mph), established in Wednesday's morning session, surfaced as the top mark among all 29 drivers that recorded times at the open test.

"I'm a little surprised because I thought we'd have more development on the car throughout the test because it is so new and we're still figuring it out, but we were fast from the word 'go' and that just shows how good the team is," said Bomarito, the 2003 U.S. Formula Ford Zetec champion. The 24-year-old had the distinction of leading a very competitive field of testers that saw the top 19 lap times separated by less than a second. "This Atlantic field is going to be unbelievable," added Bomarito. "I've never seen anything like it. There's got to be 20 guys out there that can win a race this year."

Another one of those talented racers is South African Stephen Simpson. The Gelles Racing pilot emerged with the second-fastest time of the test as he clocked a lap of 58.389 (92.175 mph), also in the Wednesday morning session. "It's been a very good first two days in Champ Car Atlantic," said the 22-year-old Simpson, who's been racing for his native country over the last few months in the A1 Grand Prix series. "I got to know the team and I got to develop the car as best as possible before Long Beach. Overall the car was great to drive, very enjoyable. It was a good day for us today. I can't wait for Long Beach in two weeks time."

After finishing with the third-fastest lap on the scoring chart Tuesday, James Hinchcliffe of Canada finished in the same position at the conclusion of the test, posting a quick mark of 58.396 (92.164 mph) in today's final session. "Overall, the past two days have been great," said the Forsythe Racing rookie. "We had our first problems of the test in the very last session, so still having the third-fastest time is pretty good. The car is really well set-up, but we started to have some mechanical issues. It's good it happened now and not at the first session at Long Beach. We know where the weak points are and how to fix them. The team has done a fantastic job and I can't thank them enough."

With nearly all drivers logging at least 150 miles over the two days, the new-generation Atlantic passed its first true test with flying colors. The test was run without any major incidents until late in the day on Wednesday when American Nick Jones, testing for Jensen Motorsport, got together with another car in Turn 1. Jones' car went off track and flipped before coming to rest. Although the car was badly damaged, Jones didn't suffer any significant injuries.

<pre> Combined lap times from the two-day test at California Speedway follow:

Jonathan Bomarito       PR1 Motorsports                 58.311          92.298 mph
Stephen Simpson         Gelles Racing                   58.389          92.175 mph
James Hinchcliffe       Forsythe Championship Racing    58.396          92.164 mph
Graham Rahal            Mi-Jack Conquest Racing         58.508          91.987 mph
Raphael Matos           Sierra Sierra Enterprises       58.551          91.920 mph
Norbert Siedler         Brooks Associates Racing        58.556          91.912 mph
Andreas Wirth           Forsythe Championship Racing    58.630          91.796 mph
Leonardo Maia           Forsythe Championship Racing    58.632          91.793 mph
Simon Pagenaud          Team Australia                  58.694          91.696 mph
Robbie Pecorari         Gelles Racing                   58.771          91.576 mph
Richard Philippe        Forsythe Championship Racing    58.778          91.565 mph
Danilo Dirani           Condor Motorsports              58.906          91.366 mph
David Martinez          US RaceTronics                  58.947          91.302 mph
Alan Sciuto             Polestar Racing Group           58.963          91.278 mph
Charles Hall            Transnet Racing                 59.060          91.128 mph
Alex Barron             Polestar Racing Group           59.117          91.040 mph
Tim Bridgman            Jensen Motorsport               59.121          91.034 mph
Mike Forest             PR1 Motorsports                 59.137          91.009 mph
Luis Schiavo            Brooks Associates Racing        59.179          90.944 mph
Daniel Gaunt            Newman/Wachs Racing             59.571          90.346 mph
Joe D'Agostino          Newman/Wachs Racing             59.571          90.346 mph
James Davison           Team Australia                  59.700          90.151 mph
Tonis Kasemets          Transnet Racing                 59.795          90.008 mph
Justin Sofio            Mathiasen Motorsports           1:00.690        88.680 mph
Kyle Kelley             McAtee Motorsports              1:00.934        88.325 mph
Nick Jones              Jensen Motorsport               1:00.951        88.300 mph
Dan Selznick            The Room Store                  1:02.105        86.660 mph
Ryan Spencer-Smith      NCDL Tech                       1:04.880        82.953 mph
Brian McAtee            McAtee Motorsports              1:05.337        82.373 mph

-ccws/atl-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Graham Rahal , Alex Barron , Leonardo Maia , Kyle Kelley , Charles Hall , David Martinez , Jonathan Bomarito , Luis Schiavo , Tonis Kasemets , Robbie Pecorari , Norbert Siedler , Daniel Selznick , Danilo Dirani , Justin Sofio , Stephen Simpson , Nick Jones , Andreas Wirth , Brian McAtee , James Davison , Richard Philippe , Simon Pagenaud , Alan Sciuto , Ryan Spencer-Smith , James Hinchcliffe , Joe D'Agostino , Daniel Gaunt , Mike Forest
Teams Conquest Racing