Hunter-Reay Sets the Pace at Firebird Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the ...
Hunter-Reay Sets the Pace at Firebird
Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #1 us print/Medlock Ames Winery/Toyota/Swift for Hylton Motorsports completed 176 trouble free miles at Firebird International Raceway on Thursday and 258 miles over the two day test.
The Firebird test provided an outstanding opportunity for the team to continue it's development with the new Swift 014.a chassis and provided Hunter-Reay with his first test at the 1.25-mile road course, where he was consistently the quickest among the seven drivers testing.
"This was an excellent test for us. It was my first time at Firebird and I think we achieved everything we had set out for. Wednesday morning was very good, however we had a few things to work out in the afternoon with the brakes. The crew sorted it out and Thursday everything ran like clockwork. This is an incredible group of guys, I couldn't ask for better," said Hunter-Reay.
"We had a very successful test this week at Firebird," commented Chief Engineer Kyle Brannan. "Ryan was quick immediately in the shakedown on Wednesday and every time he is in the car, his feedback gets better and better. On Thursday we were able to try everything we had on our list and spent a lot of time working on our shock development program."
Firebird marked Hunter-Reay's third test of the 2002 season, "I learned a lot about the car at Firebird, I am becoming more and more sensitive to the changes, which really helps me work with my Engineer in developing the set-up."
Hunter-Reay set his quickest time on Wednesday and matched it Thursday, even though the track was about four tenths slower. "The track was actually slower on Thursday, the weather had changed a bit and there was even a dust storm in the afternoon which dirtied the track, but my car was faster. We matched our quick time from Wednesday in worse track conditions, so I know we developed a strong car in variable conditions."
A Florida resident, Hunter-Reay will spend the next two weeks at the team's Southern California headquarters, where he will prepare for round two of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, starting with the Long Beach Press Day on Tuesday. The 2002 event will be Hunter-Reay's inaugural campaign on the famed Grand Prix circuit.