CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi among fastest at first post-wedding test at Sebring

NEWMAN/HAAS CART DRIVER FITTIPALDI COMPLETES FIRST TEST AS A MARRIED MAN AND WAS AMONG FASTEST AT SEBRING ROAD COURSE SEBRING, Fla. (February 21, 2001) --- Newman/Haas Racing driver Christian Fittipaldi returned fresh from his honeymoon to...

NEWMAN/HAAS CART DRIVER FITTIPALDI COMPLETES FIRST TEST AS A MARRIED MAN AND WAS AMONG FASTEST AT SEBRING ROAD COURSE

SEBRING, Fla. (February 21, 2001) --- Newman/Haas Racing driver Christian Fittipaldi returned fresh from his honeymoon to resume testing duties for a two-day test at Sebring International Raceway, which concluded late today. The final three test days for Newman/Haas Racing will take place February 26-28 at the Phoenix International Raceway prior to the CART FedEx Championship Series 2001 season-opener on March 11 in Monterrey, Mexico.

"It was good to get back in the car after taking a few weeks off," said Fittipaldi who had been on his honeymoon after his February 3 wedding in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "Cristiano had been doing all of the work lately so it was my turn to get back behind the wheel. We ran quick on Tuesday and the car was definitely a lot better than before. I had done a pretty good time on old tires and calculated in my mind what the time should be with new tires and came up with a 50.6. I was definitely pleased when I did a 50.4 after that. We learned a lot today also but the things were mostly in the category of what not to do."

"We were able to run two full days of testing and log another 375 miles before the season starts," added Brian Lisles, who was promoted from Senior Race Engineer to General Manager in January 2001. "We have one more test to go before we start the season. Everyone is looking forward to our first race with Christian and Cristiano. It's only two weeks away and that time will pass before we know it."

Christian Fittipaldi will test on Feb. 26-27 and Texaco/Havoline driver da Matta will run on Wednesday, February 28 in Phoenix before both drivers travel to Torrance, Calif. for the annual Motorsports Day at Toyota's U.S. base in Torrance, Calif. on Friday, March 2. With three test days remaining before the start of the season, Fittipaldi is looking forward to seeing how the team compares to other competitors.

"We are reasonably comfortable with the amount we learned but won't know for sure how we stack up until 16 days from now when we get on the track in Mexico," said Fittipaldi, the reigning CART race winner after scoring his first 500-mile event at the 2000 season-finale Marlboro 500. "I think we are looking good heading into Mexico. It's been great to extend the "most recent CART winner" tag but you're only as good as your last race. I've been able to hold onto that feeling for a while now which is good for the team and me until we get to Mexico. Then we will want another fix of course."

The 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season opener will take place on March 11 in Monterrey, Mexico. The series will hold 21 races in seven countries around the world in 2001. Log onto Newman-Haas.com, fittipaldiONLINE.com or damatta.com (Portuguese only) for more information on the team.

-NHR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi