Former Champ Car World Series teams continued to refine their driver rosters and plans for the upcoming 2008 IndyCar Series with announcements coming from three teams of their intentions on the Indy Racing League Cup. Newman/Haas/Lanigan drivers...
Former Champ Car World Series teams continued to refine their driver rosters and plans for the upcoming 2008 IndyCar Series with announcements coming from three teams of their intentions on the Indy Racing League Cup.
Newman/Haas/Lanigan drivers Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson took part in the weekly IRL Teleconference from Indianapolis on Wednesday (March 12th) and noted the difficulty of transitioning from familiar road- and street-course turf to the oval-laced territory the IndyCar Series plans to trod.
"For me, it is a matter of staying focused," said Rahal, who at 19 years of age is entering his first season of IndyCar Series competition after competing in 14 races in the CCWS.
"With my lack of experience on ovals, it is going to be a tough thing. We have a long road ahead of us trying to work everything out."
"We have got to judge the competition when we get there and be realistic and not get carried away. These first few races will be very difficult. We have had only a short time to get the cars prepared and the lack of experience we have as far as set up will make it more difficult."
Meanwhile, newly renamed KV Racing Technology (formerly PKV Racing) co-owner Jimmy Vasser spoke of the spirit of cooperation that's given him and other CCWS owners a leg up on the schedule which commences in a too-brief seventeen days at Homestead Miami Speedway.
"All the Champ Car teams are absolutely flat out," said Vasser. "It is a huge undertaking, and we are working around the clock seven days a week just to get prepared for first the test at Sebring (March 19th and 20th)."
Speaking with Vasser on the teleconference were veteran racer Oriol Servia and newly appointed driver Will Power.
"I am very excited about the season," said Servia, who owns 126 Champ Car starts. "I would prefer to have a street or road course before we hit the oval, but the schedule is what it is."
HVM Racing takes back their name in their announced move to IndyCar, the Keith Wiggins owned team has raced under the banners of Herdez Competition, CTE Racing/HVM and most recently with Paul Stoddart's partnership as Minardi Team USA. The team will debut with one car to start the 2008 season.
After taking delivery of their first Dallara chassis only Tuesday (March 11th), Keith Wiggins and his crew have their work cut out for them as they hope to be at the Sebring test before the season opener at Homestead.
As one of the Champ Car teams, they will be at Long Beach in April for the farewell race to the DP01 chassis powered by Cosworth. All the Champ Car teams will receive IndyCar points for the event. IndyCar races the day before on the Motegi oval in Japan.
"We will field three cars at Long Beach in April under the Minardi Team USA banner, along with the other Champ Car teams, but our focus now is getting up to speed with the Dallara as soon as possible," Wiggins said.
Announcements will follow in the coming days regarding who will pilot the team's cars in Long Beach and the team's IndyCar driver for the season.