Moses test the waters in Atlantic. Moses Smith has made his debut appearance in a Formula Atlantic car, joining many of the top teams at the Firebird East circuit at the International Raceway near Phoenix Arizona. This venue is particularly ...
Moses test the waters in Atlantic.
Moses Smith has made his debut appearance in a Formula Atlantic car, joining many of the top teams at the Firebird East circuit at the International Raceway near Phoenix Arizona.
This venue is particularly popular amongst the CART fraternity, as it provides a range of challenges, for car and driver, including slow speed chicanes, sweeping turns, high-speed sections, and an abrasive surface. The teams present at the test were expected to experiment, with different variables, such as new set-ups, as well as trying out potential new drivers.
Star Mazda runner Smith joined the Michael Shank Team for the test to get a first taste of Atlantics before considering a move up the CART ladder for 2003.
"I am doing this test just to get my feet wet and experience a new car," he explained ahead of a full-day-and-a-half in the car. "After spending time with the guys and getting fitted in the car, I could hardly sleep. I was so excited!"
With the afternoon before the start of the test allotted for seat fitting and cockpit set-up, Smith was able to get straight out onto the track when the session began. The Shank team then changed its focus and started to make set-up changes to the #71 car. These changes were not necessarily to make the car faster, but to give Smith a better idea of what type of changes could be made, and what the effects would be.
"It was our objective to get Moses in the car and see what he was all about," team boss Shank explained, "We also wanted him to experience working with our crew. The first half day was scheduled just to get Moses used to the car but, after the first session, it was clear that he had really taken to it like a fish to water."
By the end of the day-and-a-half session, Smith was lapping the course at times comparable to some of the more seasoned Toyota Atlantic veterans.
"I was very surprised at how much could be changed on the Atlantic - the crew can really fine-tune the car to what I wanted," he revealed, "It was never a question of if it could be changed, but of how much of a change did I want."
"I wish I could have spent more time testing with the guys - I feel that they did an excellent job at getting me familiar with the car. The technical and coaching advice they gave me was invaluable! Mike and the whole crew made my first experience in an Atlantic better than I ever expected."
The feelings were apparently mutual, with the Shank organization admitting that it was easy to work with Smith. Furthermore, the team said it was amazed at how well and how quickly Moses adapted to the car.
"We all look forward to the opportunity to work with Moses again in the future, it was a real pleasure," Shank confirmed.
Plans for the rest of the off-season will keep Smith busy. He is currently trying to secure funds for the 2003 season, while preparing for a test in an Infinity Pro-Series car for Beardsley Motorsports.