Skerlong Wraps Pre-Season with Top-Six Test Time Mukilteo, Washington (March 09, 2007) -- Carl Skerlong wrapped up pre-season testing for the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at Laguna Seca, ...
Skerlong Wraps Pre-Season with Top-Six Test Time
Mukilteo, Washington (March 09, 2007) -- Carl Skerlong wrapped up pre-season testing for the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at Laguna Seca, California yesterday by planting the #24 King Taco/US RaceTronics entry sixth on the timesheets by the end of play from an international line-up boasting 26 entries.
Carrying his form over from last month's test at MSR Houston, where he posted the fifth fastest lap time, Carl's progress as one of the leading rookies gained further momentum as he hustled his 300bhp Swift Mazda-Cosworth around the 2.238-mile road course on Wednesday and Thursday in the final test run before the 12-round series kicks off on the streets of Las Vegas next month with the "Vegas Grand Prix', Friday 6th -- Sunday 8th April.
Sporting new-look colors, a patriotic combination of red, white and blue, complete with King Taco branding, Carl's first taste of the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca proved fruitful with the 18-year-old from Seattle enjoying a solid outing, placing tenth overall for the day with a hot lap of 1m17.566s (103.870mph). The close nature of Champ Car Atlantic competition was again evidenced with Carl's best lap less than a second off the quickest time of the day, 1m16.634s (105.133mph), set by France's Franck Perera in the Condor Motorsports entry.
Returning to action on Thursday, Carl, together with US RaceTronics team-mate, Mexico's David Garza, focused on fine tuning their set-ups at the Californian track, one that unfortunately they won't be returning to when the season begins. Despite this, the opportunity to log valuable miles is one that Skerlong won't readily pass up and he continued to shine behind the wheel of the King Taco-backed Atlantic race car.
Thursday's sessions ended with Carl holding strong with sixth on the timesheets, his fastest lap of the day coming in at 1m16.850s (104.838mph). Perera continued to lead the rookie charge against the sophomore drivers, the Frenchman sweeping all sessions to end the day on top courtesy of a flying tour of 1m16.067s (105.917mph), his time two-tenths faster than Brazilian returnee, Raphael Matos in second.
"I'm happy with the outcome of the test," declared Skerlong. "We picked things up in the second day and overall our pace was pretty decent. When the competition's this close, anything inside the top-ten's good and for sure heading into Las Vegas anyone from that top group's more than capable of winning. We did quite a bit of work on set-up although Laguna's not really like anything else we'll race at this season. I'm confident we're on the right path heading to Vegas, I just can't wait to finally go racing!"