CHAMPCAR/CART: Della Penna MS completes Homestead testing

Indianapolis, Ind. (March 4, 2000) - Della Penna Motorsports completed a two-day test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway today with regular driver Richie Hearn and Norberto Fontana. Fontana used the testing opportunity to complete his CART...

Indianapolis, Ind. (March 4, 2000) - Della Penna Motorsports completed a two-day test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway today with regular driver Richie Hearn and Norberto Fontana. Fontana used the testing opportunity to complete his CART rookie requirements.

Hearn took over testing duties on Homestead's oval Friday morning after the team had spent the previous two days on the road course with Fontana behind the wheel of the #10 Della Penna Motorsports Toyota/Reynard Champ Car. Hearn completed 276 laps with a quick time of 27.1 seconds on the 1.5-mile oval.

"We were able to learn some more about the car," Hearn said, "but we still needed a few tenths of second. The car was really good in turns one and two, that's where most of my speed was, but we're struggling with (turns) three and four."

While Hearn worked on his set-up for the March 26 season-opener at Homestead in the mornings, Fontana used the afternoon sessions to complete his rookie requirements including running consistent laps at speed and practicing pit stops with the Della Penna Motorsports crew.

Fontana briefly went out on Friday afternoon completing 46 laps in his first appearance on an oval. Saturday afternoon he circled the track for 115 laps reaching a top speed of 27.4 seconds.

"I am happy I had the chance to drive on an oval," said Fontana. "Yesterday was just a learning day and today I slowly started to get faster with the help of (owner) John (Della Penna) and the team. Richie took me out in the rental car yesterday to show me the line and Adrian (Fernandez) and Juan (Montoya) also gave me some advise. It's been a great experience."

The team is scheduled to test at Nazareth Speedway with Richie Hearn before the 2000 FedEx Championship Series gets underway March 26 for the Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Richie Hearn , Norberto Fontana