CHAMPCAR/CART: Blundell confident after Chicago test

(Chicago, IL) – PacWest Racing finalized a successful two-day test at the Chicago Motor Speedway in Chicago Illinois today. Mark Blundell posted the 12th-quickest time of the 21 drivers who took part in the CART open test which was held in ...

(Chicago, IL) – PacWest Racing finalized a successful two-day test at the Chicago Motor Speedway in Chicago Illinois today.

Mark Blundell posted the 12th-quickest time of the 21 drivers who took part in the CART open test which was held in preparation for the Target Grand Prix at the Chicago Motor Speedway on July 30.

Blundell clocked a quickest time of 22.88 seconds in today’s afternoon session in the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz on his teammate Mauricio Gugelmin.

The Englishman will be back in his regular #18 Motorola machine for the 10th round of the FedEx Championship Series in Toronto next weekend.

“I think we made some good progress through the course of the two days,” said Blundell.

“We focused on our set-up with heavy fuel loads for the most of the day and were not that far away at the end of the session.

“I think we will benefit from our plan today when we return for the Target Grand Prix.

“We started on the front row in the first race at Chicago last season and I think with a little development of our results over the past two days we could achieve something similar again at the end of the month.”

Cristiano da Matta clocked the best time of the test when he notched a 22.422-second lap at an average speed of 165.213mph in today’s afternoon session in his Toyota Reynard.

Kenny Brack was second quick after posting a top lap of 22.542 (164.333 mph) during today's morning session in his Ford Reynard.

Michel Jourdain Jr (Mercedes-Benz Reynard) and Adrian Fernandez (Ford Reynard) posted identical laps of 22.626 (163.723 mph) to occupy the third and fourth spots on the final speed charts.

The only casualties from the two day test came yesterday when Gil de Ferran and Alex Tagliani both damaged their cars in heavy accidents, but escaped uninjured.

<pre> TODAY’S MORNING SESSION 1 Kenny Brack 22.54s 2 Cristiano da Matta 22.56 3 Dario Franchitti 22.65 4 Paul Tracy 22.69 5 Max Papis 22.69 6 Adrian Fernandez 22.70 7 Michel Jourdain Jr. 22.78 8 Christian Fittipaldi 22.80 9 Michael Andretti 23.01 10 Oriol Servia 23.08 11 Mark Blundell 23.19

TODAY’S AFTERNOON SESSION 1 Cristiano da Matta 22.42s 2 Michel Jourdain Jr 22.62 3 Adrian Fernandez 22.62 4 Roberto Moreno 22.64 5 Oriol Servia 22.65 6 Michael Andretti 22.69 7 Christian Fittipaldi 22.70 8 Max Papis 22.78 9 Kenny Brack 22.79 10 Mark Blundell 22.88

COMBINED TIMES & SPEEDS FROM BOTH DAYS 1: Cristiano da Matta (Toyota Reynard), 22.422 sec (165.213 mph) 2: Kenny Brack (Ford Reynard), 22.542 sec (164.333 mph) 3: Adrian Fernandez (Ford Reynard), 22.626 sec (163.723 mph) 3: Michel Jourdain Jr (Mercedes-Benz Reynard), 22.626 sec (163.723 mph) 5: Roberto Moreno (Ford Reynard), 22.641 sec (163.615 mph) 6: Oriol Servia (Toyota Reynard), 22.653 sec (163.528 mph) 7: Dario Franchitti (Honda Reynard) 22.658 sec (163.492 mph) 8: Paul Tracy (Honda Reynard), 22.691 sec (163.254 mph) 9: Max Papis (Ford Reynard), 22.699 sec (163.197 mph) 10: Michael Andretti (Ford Lola), 22.699 sec (163.197 mph) 11: Christian Fittipaldi (Ford Lola), 22.701 sec (163.182 mph) 12: Mark Blundell (Mercedes-Benz Reynard), 22.882 sec (161.891 mph) 13: Juan Montoya (Toyota Lola), 22.932 sec (161.538 mph) 14: Helio Castroneves (Honda Reynard), 23.048 sec (160.725 mph) 15: Shinji Nakano (Honda Reynard), 23.240 sec (159.398 mph) 16: Jimmy Vasser (Toyota Lola), 23.258 sec (159.274 mph) 17: Takuya Kurosawa (Ford Lola), 23.306 sec (158.946 mph) 18: Tarso Marques (Ford Swift), 23.444 sec (158.011 mph) 19: Norberto Fontana (Toyota Reynard), 24.561 sec (150.824 mph) 20: Alex Tagliani (Ford Reynard), 24.585 sec (150.677 mph) 21: Gil de Ferran (Honda Reynard), 24.728 sec (149.806 mph)

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Tarso Marques , Roberto Moreno , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Oriol Servia , Shinji Nakano , Kenny Brack , Mark Blundell , Takuya Kurosawa , Norberto Fontana , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain