SEBRING, Fla. -- In addition to testing the effectiveness of Tony Kanaan's left arm on the road course at Sebring last week (Aug. 3-4), Mo Nunn Racing gave Hollywood-sponsored Indy Lights competitor Felipe Giaffone a chance to drive the ...
SEBRING, Fla. -- In addition to testing the effectiveness of Tony Kanaan's left arm on the road course at Sebring last week (Aug. 3-4), Mo Nunn Racing gave Hollywood-sponsored Indy Lights competitor Felipe Giaffone a chance to drive the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard.
Giaffone, the Brazilian who scored his first Lights victory at Michigan two weeks prior, turned in a solid performance at Sebring in his first-ever stint behind the wheel of a Champ Car. He recorded 185 miles (111 laps) over the two days, and set a fast lap of 54.0 seconds on the 1.72-mile road course, within 1 second of Kanaan's baseline time.
Felipe Giaffone on his test "Before I got here, I thought maybe I just couldn't drive the car because it has too much power. But then, once I got in, I started getting used to everything, and Tony was giving me some tips along the way that helped me a lot. By the end of the first day I was pretty happy. I didn't push too hard because I didn't want to make any mistakes. What impressed me the most was the car's speed out of the corners. It's much harder to control than a Lights car. The top speed is fast, as I figured, but that didn't turn out to be the problem. The brakes are unbelievable. Overall, it feels like a pretty big car, but even so it has quite a lot of grip through the slow corners.
"This is a big confidence-builder. It felt good to hear Tony saying the same things about the car after he got out that I was saying. Talking about Champ Cars to the engineers is a new language to me. Learning (all the controls buttons and readouts on) the steering wheel was very interesting ... overwhelming at first. They were telling me to go up on the boost, and it took me four laps to find the right button. I'm sure they were laughing about that in the pits while I was out on the track. I'm very happy to have had this opportunity."
Race engineer Eric Cowdin on Giaffone
"He didn't set a wheel off course the whole time, and showed a very deliberate and progressive attitude in getting the car up to speed."