Simpson and Pecorari put Western Union ahead Indianapolis, March 24, 2006. -- Gelles Racing maiden test sessions in the new Champ Car Atlantic Championship at California Speedway proved to be a complete success as rookie drivers ...
Simpson and Pecorari put Western Union ahead
Indianapolis, March 24, 2006. -- Gelles Racing maiden test sessions in the new Champ Car Atlantic Championship at California Speedway proved to be a complete success as rookie drivers Robbie Pecorari and Stephen Simpson drove more than 100 trouble-free laps each over two days. South African Simpson topped the charts with second best time out of 29 drivers and came out smiling in the cockpit of his Western Union # 14 machine. Pennsylvania's own Robbie Pecorari also ran flawless in the #28 car for two days and earned 10th place in the chart. Engineers and crew did an outstanding job with their two drivers.
"The bonding was excellent", declared team principal Bob Gelles. "Everybody had to work very hard to get those machines together and our crew even took some time to get the Western Union livery ready. We were impressed with the way Stephen (Simpson) and Robbie (Pecorari) worked with our engineering staff Dave (Conti) and Johnny (Walko) under the supervision of operations vice-president Tim Jennings. Regardless of the times, the work sessions gave us a lot of data and something to chew on for the coming weeks as we will get ready for Long Beach. To have both our cars in the Top Ten shows how much the drivers were up to the challenge and the cars had been well prepared. I think the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship will be the most competitive in decades and I thank the organization for their professionalism. Western Union and our recently added Diamon-Fusion Roadblock sponsor will be generously rewarded for being part of this series.''
After taking part in the A1GP series most of the winter with Team South Africa, Stephen Simpson was impressive in his first sessions with the Swift .016a Mazda Cosworth single seater. "New car and new track; said Simpson, but wow, this car was so much fun to drive. It is a well-born machine and we all shared information and feelings for two days. Robbie, Dave, Johnny and I were excited and had a lot to talk about in between sessions. l anticipate a great season with my team and new engineer Alan Langridge."
''This is the finest racing machine I ever laid my hands on, added Pecorari. I was pretty happy with P10 with such a competitive roster. In fact, I was getting faster in the last session, something like P5, but the overall times were slower. I tip my hat to the crew and engineers who gave us fast cars and the opportunity to run without any problems for two days. We're going to be right up there fighting for wins and the title this year.''
Getting ready for Long Beach
Gelles Racing will now get into Long Beach mode with the western rendez-vous just around the corner. ''I think everybody starts fresh in LB, closed Gelles. It will be to the team who comes best prepared with a strong teamwork attitude that will come out on top. For instance, this is a reason why we have engineer Alan Langridge joining us.''