January 26,1999 "Gil de Ferran - First time with Honda/Reynard 99" Driver: Gil de Ferran Car: ...
"Gil de Ferran - First time with Honda/Reynard 99" Driver: Gil de Ferran Car: #5 Valvoline/Cummins Special Honda-Reynard 99 Track: Firebird East - Phoenix, AZ Test days: January 21-22, 1999 Miles ran: 250 miles ( 2 days ) Test: Goodyear tires test Best Lap Time: 43.0 seconds Atmospheric conditions: 21st - very windy; 22nd - cool, sunny Other drivers also testing: Paul Tracy, Team Kool Green - Honda/Reynard/Firestone (43.0 range) Tony Kanaan, Tasman Motorsports - Honda/Reynard/Firestone ( 43.5 range) Alex Baron, All American Racer - Toyota/Reynard/Goodyear (44.0 range)
Team Owner - Derrick Walker: "Good start; it's a pity the weather took some of our test time. Firebird is a difficult place to gauge results because the track conditions change a fair bit and the tire companies do not develop tires just for Firebird. For example, the tires we tested with were not meant for there, and so they had about 10 to 15 laps in them before they went off, so it's difficult to know who's doing what."
Team Manager - Rob Edwards: "Our test was cut short by the weather conditions on the first day, the wind blew sand onto the track which made it impossible to get any real feedback. Day two was a better day, we were able to shake down the car and Honda's latest version of their championship challenger. The car ran 250 trouble-free miles, and we were encouraged by the new equipment."
Driver - Gil de Ferran: "Obviously the conditions where not ideal, but I think the new Reynard is a slight improvement over last year. We will get a better idea in our next test in Sebring. However, the Honda 99 has definitely improved from last year."
Tim Broyles will now assume the responsibility of Chief Mechanic on the #5 Valvoline/ Cummins car driven by de Ferran. Tim previously managed the test team for Walker Racing. "Tim has been with the team for 5 years and is more than qualified for the position, so it was a natural appointment," said Derrick Walker.
Next test is scheduled at Sebring, Florida, January 28-29, 1999.