Forsythe Atlantic Team Wraps Up Two-Day Sebring Test SEBRING, Florida -- May 8, 2006 -- Last week on the mega-bumpy "Modified" road course at this former Army Air Corps base and training center, Forsythe Championship Racing's four-car entry...
Forsythe Atlantic Team Wraps Up Two-Day Sebring Test
SEBRING, Florida -- May 8, 2006 -- Last week on the mega-bumpy "Modified" road course at this former Army Air Corps base and training center, Forsythe Championship Racing's four-car entry in the 2006 Atlantic Championship completed nearly 1,000 miles in a two-day test session for drivers Richard Philippe, James Hinchcliffe, Leonardo Maia and series points leader Andreas Wirth. At Sebring, with its suspension-breaking rough surface, the joke among local racers is that the bumps are due to the hundreds of World War II B-17 Flying Fortress pilots who were trained there and "dropped a lot of bombs in the wrong places".
The purpose of the test was to work on car setups for the upcoming Cleveland event, which takes place on a similar fast and bumpy layout at Burke Lakefront Airport on the shore of Lake Erie in the shadows of downtown, June 23-25. The Cleveland event will be pivotal in the outcome of the championship since it is the only two-race round, with one race each on Saturday and Sunday.
Forsythe Atlantic Driver Coach
"Testing over the two days went very, very well. Our testing schedule and procedure allowed us to accumulate a phenomenal amount of data which should prove to be useful for Cleveland. Richard was incredibly impressive right out of the box. The speed he was able to carry into Turn 17 was nothing short of brilliant. Although he has had some bad luck in the first 3 races, expect to see the young gun at the front any day now.
Andreas and his engineer Nick went through an extensive list of changes in a relatively short period of time giving the team a great deal to work with for the upcoming events. I must say that I'm impressed in the way with which Nick systematically eliminates any questions about what will and will not work on a car, which lends itself to the consistent and focused driving of Andreas.
Leo made some big strides as well and on the second day, found his groove and ended with a car that he can go confidently into Cleveland with.
Hinch was also impressive as usual with his test program, and in addition completed some valuable standing start data to round off his sessions. He also showed the way through some of the corners where others were struggling, which just proves even more that a four car team can be a very productive thing.
Each driver has their own style and preferences with the car and we are able to capitalize on this when one car may struggle in a certain section of track but is quicker than others somewhere else. We are able to borrow all of the good and bad aspects of each car and put it all together to have the most competitive package available to us, and I believe we more than accomplished this in Sebring.
Because of the results of this test I am anxious to get to Cleveland and see if we can turn all of the hard work into a few podiums! Before that, we should have a good event next week at Portland (June 16-18)."
Andreas Wirth #37 INDECK/Wirth Solar Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
"The test went very well! In all I did 267 miles on my test day, which is a lot for the modified course. It's very bumpy and we learned a lot about what the car likes for this type of track. There's no other test track that is so similar to Cleveland so it was perfect for us to test here. With Cleveland being a two-race round it's going to be very important to have a good weekend there and now we're very prepared."
Richard Philippe #33 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
"The test went well. We've improved the car so I'm very pleased. Unfortunately I had to end my day early as I had a pretty big crash. Overall the team did great, the mechanics were very fast to repair my car and get me back on track after my off. Now it's on to Portland and I'm determined to get the good results that I should have had by now."
Leonardo Maia #7 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
"The test was really productive for me and my teammates. We learned a lot about the car over the two days at Sebring. We threw a lot of different setups on the car to see what worked best on the bumps. The car performed flawlessly throughout the test thanks to a great FCR team. I am feeling more and more confident in the car and I am really looking forward to Portland!"
James Hinchcliffe #3 Emexis/INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
"The test went really well for us. We were working hard on a good setup for Cleveland. Since we get to test at Portland before, we were focusing on a good setup for the airport circuit. I started a program on the Thursday and then Andreas picked up where I left off and I think we got a lot accomplished. We also got the chance to get the car out in the rain and I was surprised how good she was. This car likes the wet conditions for sure. So we will take it all one day at a time from here and try to bag a good result in Portland to redeem ourselves for Monterrey!"