CHAMPCAR/CART: Gonzalez test with Herdez Competition - Putnam notes

Gonzalez completes very successful pre-Mexico City test INDIANAPOLIS (October 3, 2003) - Champ Car Rookie Roberto Gonzalez yesterday completed a highly successful test at Putnam Park just outside Indianapolis in the ...

Gonzalez completes very successful pre-Mexico City test

INDIANAPOLIS (October 3, 2003) - Champ Car Rookie Roberto Gonzalez yesterday completed a highly successful test at Putnam Park just outside Indianapolis in the #4 Herdez Competition/Nextel Lola that he will race in next weekend's Gran Premio de Mexico. The test was originally scheduled for Monday, September 29th at Sebring International Raceway in Florida but inclement weather forced the team to abandon the test after only seven laps.

Thursday's test saw Gonzalez run 115 laps of the 1.766 mile circuit without putting a wheel wrong. In fact, by the end of the day he had set a new official track record of 52.91 seconds. The previous record had been in place since 1998 when Greg Moore set a lap of 53.41 (June 3rd) and was then pipped by Alex Barron (August 4th) with a time of 53.23 seconds. Knocking more than 3/10ths of a second from this record was a thrill for Gonzalez and the entire Herdez Competition/Nextel crew. Gonzalez and the team also practiced pit stops throughout the day, further preparing him for race conditions.

Team Manager Vince Kremer expressed it best; "It was a very positive test overall. The engineering team got very good feedback from Roberto. He adjusted quickly to being back in the car and ran very well. We're very pleased and excited with the results of the day."

Gonzalez was also happy with the day's results. "I felt very comfortable in the Champ Car pretty much from the first lap. When you consider that I haven't been in a race car since February, it says a lot for the team as well. They gave me a very, very good car to work with. It was great to get a chance to get to know the mechanics and the engineers a bit better before next weekend's big race in Mexico City. It's a huge event for Herdez and Nextel and all of our fans and friends. I feel much more confident now going into this race."

The team's transporters and crew will begin departing for Mexico City on Monday in preparation for the largest single event on the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series calendar, the Gran Premio de Mexico, October 10-12, 2003.

-HC-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Barron , Roberto Gonzalez , Greg Moore