CHAMPCAR/CART: Drivers test new push-to-push button

Champ Car Drivers Test New Push-To-Pass Button INDIANAPOLIS (March 18, 2004) -- Cosworth Racing and Champ Car developed a new push-to-pass function for the cars competing in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford in...

Champ Car Drivers Test New Push-To-Pass Button

INDIANAPOLIS (March 18, 2004) -- Cosworth Racing and Champ Car developed a new push-to-pass function for the cars competing in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford in 2004, and the mechanism received favorable reviews following its first on-track test earlier this week.

The push-to-pass function increases the boost in the engine to provide an extra 50 horsepower at the press of a button, helping a driver to make a pass in an otherwise tight situation. The drivers will have 60 seconds of the increased boost at their disposal during each race.

The Herdez Competition and Newman/Haas Racing teams were the first to try the push-to-pass button at the track, using the system in their Champ Car tests on the infield road course at California Speedway in Fontana. Miami winner Mario Dominguez (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and 2003 series runner-up Bruno Junqueira (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) were the first drivers to take their shots with the new device and reported that it made a noticeable difference in performance.

"The new push-to-pass button will be a great tool, you definitely feel the difference," Dominguez said. "Passing is still going to be a challenge, particularly on some tracks, but this is going to be good. I am excited about it."

Junqueira was also impressed with the push-to-pass apparatus, which completed a pair of demanding race simulations on the Cosworth dyno before making it to the race track.

"It was very good," Junqueira said of the new device. "The button will give you what you need to pass a car if you are close to it. It won't make it easy but it will help for sure. I think it will make the racing more exciting this season."

Engineers from Cosworth and Champ Car were equally pleased with the results of the test, but were mindful that it was only the first test of the season.

"Everything worked as planned and I think the best endorsement came in the fact that the drivers could notice a change in performance with the use of the button," said Cosworth Track Support Manager Ken Deagle. "The increase in power works as we'd hoped but we will continue testing to ensure that it works as advertised every time we use it."

Newman/Haas will continue testing with the new mechanism Thursday at the road course in Fontana.

-champ car-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Mario Dominguez