CHAMPCAR/CART: Blundell swaps colors for Chicago test

(Indianapolis, In) -- PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell will be in his traditional Motorola driving suit for an open Champ Car test at the Chicago Motor Speedway during the next two days, but his surroundings will be a little different. Blundell...

(Indianapolis, In) -- PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell will be in his traditional Motorola driving suit for an open Champ Car test at the Chicago Motor Speedway during the next two days, but his surroundings will be a little different.

Blundell will be driving the team's "fifth" car during the test, which has been painted in the Nextel color scheme of his teammate Mauricio Gugelmin.

"I guess it will be a little different to be running in Nextel colors, but it won't have any effect on what we are trying to achieve at the test," said Blundell.

"We had a pretty good run in qualifying at Chicago last season and started on the front row of the grid. I like the circuit and the promoters know how to sell the event to the fans.

"Mercedes-Benz have been working on their engine program pretty strongly and I think we may have a few more bits to try tomorrow and Friday.

"I think the majority of major teams will be at the test so we should get a pretty good idea of where we are at."

The test will feature use of the Handford MK1, the superspeedway variant of the rear-wing aerodynamic package utilized by CART at FedEx Championship Series events. The Handford MK1 will be the only rear-wing aerodynamic package allowed during tomorrow's on-track activities.

The test has been scheduled to help teams prepare for this year's Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer, July 28-30.

Following the Chicago Open Test, the FedEx Championship Series takes a weekend off before resuming with Round 10, the Molson Indy, July 14-16 at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

MAURCIO GUGELMIN -- A FATHER AGAIN

PacWest Racing's Mauricio Gugelmin became a father for the third time at 3:10pm on Monday when his wife, Stella, gave birth to an 8lb 11-ounce baby boy.

Gabriel will be a brother for six year-old twins Bernardo and Giuliano.

"Everything is great," said Gugelmin, who drives the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz in the FedEx Championship Series.

"Stella and Gabriel are just fine and the boys are happy to have another brother.

"The timing was perfect with us having a week off this week. It will give us a little time to settle in before heading off to Toronto next week."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell