Della Penna to Switch to Reynard The team hopes to have a new chassis ready for Milwaukee. By Marc Sproule Confirming rumors that have been circulating for a while, John Della Penna said Thursday his Budweiser team will switch from Swift to...
Della Penna to Switch to Reynard The team hopes to have a new chassis ready for Milwaukee. By Marc Sproule
Confirming rumors that have been circulating for a while, John Della Penna said Thursday his Budweiser team will switch from Swift to Reynard chassis.
"We'll get our first '99 next week, and we hope to have it ready for Milwaukee," he said from his office in Indianapolis. "We're buying Robby's [Gordon] '98 and will probably have that as our backup car at Gateway."
Della Penna said he had ordered the Reynards some time ago, then was approached by Team Gordon when it decided to stick with the Swift.
"The [Swift] has a lot of potential, but it has proved very troublesome for us to find the right setup," Della Penna said. "It has to do with the engine installation. P.J. [Jones] has made a lot of progress with his car, but for us, finding the right setup has been like looking for the needle in the haystack." Remember that Della Penna's team is utilizing the Toyota powerplant, and Jones has the Ford-Cosworth in his Patrick Racing mount.
A common remark this season is that it hasn't been easy to get parts from the Swift factory in a timely manner. Della Penna's switch to Reynards will make it easier logistically. "Reynard is just a little ways from our shop, and that will make it easier to get things done," he said.
Della Penna realizes that the switch may not necessarily be the answer to success. "After we get to know the car, we should be better than a 20th-place team. If we're not better, then we'll have to make some other changes."
A major change like this in the middle of the season is a risky one. But competition in the Champ Car ranks is so demanding that not making a change could be a riskier decision.