CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana road course test, final day

JUSTIN WILSON PACES FINAL DAY OF CHAMP CAR TESTING IN FONTANA FONTANA, Calif. (March 9, 2005) -- It has long been said that the curse of having potential is the burden of having to eventually live up to it. Nowhere is that adage more true...

JUSTIN WILSON PACES FINAL DAY OF CHAMP CAR TESTING IN FONTANA

FONTANA, Calif. (March 9, 2005) -- It has long been said that the curse of having potential is the burden of having to eventually live up to it.

Nowhere is that adage more true than in the Champ Car World Series, but the second-year RuSPORT squad with sophomore sensations Justin Wilson and A.J. Allmendinger appear ready to answer the bell. The Colorado-based team showed a glimpse of its potential on a sunny Wednesday in Fontana as Wilson put up the best time of the day, getting around the 1.45-mile road course in a best time of 52.71 seconds.

"I think we have everything in place to be competitive this season," Wilson said. "The team is doing a great job, we're all learning and building our chemistry. We have the parts to be good, it is just a matter of putting all the pieces together."

Tuesday's test leader Cristiano da Matta had another strong day, stopping the clocks at 52.81, improving nearly a half-second over his best time from Tuesday's session. Allmendinger was third with a 52.86 while Paul Tracy turned a late lap of 52.91.

PKV Racing's Jimmy Vasser found some more speed after Tuesday's testing, dropping his best time to 53.11. The revamped PKV squad is finding its legs after the inclusion of general manager Jim McGee and Steve Krisiloff, and Vasser believes that his team will be one of the ones to beat as the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season gets rolling.

"We were definitely competitive at times out here today," Vasser said. "I think Cristiano has been a great addition to the team and things are really starting to work. I think Champ Car fans are going to see a whole new side of PKV Racing this year."

As was the case yesterday, the first six cars were within six-tenths of a second apart at the end of the session. Andrew Ranger tested for the second consecutive day in the Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone and improved to a best time of 53.30, just 0.59 seconds off the session-leading effort of Wilson. Ranger was denied a chance to put up a quicker time at the end of the day when he suffered a punctured Bridgestone Potenza just before the end of the session.

The close grouping of the times over the last two days of testing has many teams and drivers brimming with optimism for the upcoming season, which gets underway with the April 10 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

"We're getting close on our program here at PKV Racing, but it's going to be a tough deal because there are going to be a lot of strong cars," said Vasser. "More than half the field is going to be very strong and fans are going to be rewarded with a great championship because a lot of guys are going to have a chance to win races."

Teams will hit the testing trail again at the end of the month with sessions being held at Sebring and Fontana March 22-24.

<pre> Times as reported by Cosworth Racing engineers follow: 1) Justin Wilson RuSPORT 52.71 2) Cristiano da Matta PKV Racing 52.81 3) A.J. Allmendinger RuSPORT 52.86 4) Paul Tracy Forsythe Championship Racing 52.91 5) Jimmy Vasser PKV Racing 53.11 6) Andrew Ranger Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing 53.30

-ccws

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , A.J. Allmendinger , Andrew Ranger , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Conquest Racing