Forsythe Racing MSR Houston test wrap-up

Red Bull Team Forsythe Energized at MSR Houston Test ANGLETON, Texas - February 13, 2007 - At the midway point of the Champ Car Atlantic testing season, Red Bull Team Forsythe drivers Robert Wickens and John Edwards continue to impress despite...

Red Bull Team Forsythe Energized at MSR Houston Test

ANGLETON, Texas - February 13, 2007 - At the midway point of the Champ Car Atlantic testing season, Red Bull Team Forsythe drivers Robert Wickens and John Edwards continue to impress despite their tender years. After an intensive two-day open test session last week at MSR Houston's fast and physical road course with 23 other competitors, the team came away with a huge trove of valuable test data and growing confidence in the skills of their teenage prodigies.

Both Wickens and Edwards are star members of Red Bull's Junior Team (www.redbull-juniorteam.com), an exclusive club comprised of 18 of the most promising young drivers in the world. At MSR Houston, both drivers gave even more credibility to the North American component of Red Bull's program as they posted top-three quick times both days despite the team's focus on data gathering and experimental setups.

Robert Wickens
No. 3 Red Bull Mazda-Cosworth/Cooper/Swift

"We spent a lot of time trying a bunch of different setups, finding out what doesn't work. Everybody likes to be the fastest driver but as the saying goes, there aren't any points for testing and with the limited amount of test days on the new Cooper tires we have it's crucial to gather as much data as possible and we accomplished that. We did finish both days strong and were right in the thick of things despite not really focusing on single-lap speed. Now we head to Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca for the final test and I'm really looking forward to that. I've only driven there once, in my very first formula car race in fact, but I absolutely love that place."

John Edwards
No. 7 Red Bull Mazda-Cosworth/Cooper/Swift

"Overall that was a really productive two days. I was kind of surprised we were so close to the top of the time sheets even though we weren't really focused on that. Houston is a really fast, bumpy track, so we worked a lot on different shock and spring configurations. We managed to find a lot of combinations that looked interesting on paper but didn't really pan out on the track, particularly on the afternoon of the first day. Then on the second day we found good consistency and some comfortable setups that seemed to get the Cooper tires working very well. The next test at Mazda Raceway will be a bit different. Like Houston and Sebring it's a great driver's track, but it's very smooth with a lot of weighting and unweighting over the hills and valleys that we haven't seen at the previous two tests."

Lee Bentham
1998 Atlantic Champion
Red Bull Team Forsythe Driver Coach

"The guys did really well. They aren't driving like rookies, that's for sure! We played around with the setups quite a bit and found a couple of key things that should be beneficial when we get down to actual racing. We did a lot of things to tune the cars for the cool weather conditions and try and get some heat in the Coopers. We kind of lucked out that other drivers kept flying off course since it seemed like every time we put on new tires there would be red flag after red flag, just like qualifying sessions usually go, so the guys got a chance to see how important it is to get heat in the tires right away and put in a quick lap immediately. The Atlantic field is just so competitive; I mean, a tenth of a second can cost you five or ten positions on the grid and qualifying position will be critical at every race, so having all those reds was actually very beneficial. I'm confident that when we come away from Monterey we'll be ready for the season!"

The final open test of the season is open to the public and takes place March 7-8 at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca just outside Monterey, California. The season-opening race takes place at the Vegas Grand Prix, April 6-8 between the casinos on the downtown streets of Las Vegas, Nevada.

-credit: forsythe racing

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Robert Wickens , John Edwards , Lee Bentham