Mauricio Gugelmin's comments on CART's recent decision to abolish in-season testing in 2001: "In my opinion, testing is a waste. "It doesn't produce any revenue or value for our fans, but with the 20 in-season days we've been allowed up until...
Mauricio Gugelmin's comments on CART's recent decision to abolish in-season testing in 2001:
"In my opinion, testing is a waste.
"It doesn't produce any revenue or value for our fans, but with the 20 in-season days we've been allowed up until now, testing adds tremendous cost.
"And it really tires everybody out over the course of the season because, with the travel and the on-track work, it's like having six or seven additional race weekends.
"It can be grueling for everyone, and with the FedEx Championship Series being so competitive, testing simply drives up costs across the board. So, with the increase to 22 races next season, I was strongly in favor of the new rules that were just approved by the team owners and announced by CART last weekend at Mid-Ohio.
"With input from the drivers, team owners and manufacturers, CART decided to eliminate in-season testing in 2001. There will be a very limited amount of pre-season testing allowed - 14 days for a two-car team (like my PacWest team), and 10 for a one-car team. There will also be rookie-driver days allowed, and special test days for engine manufacturers. And that's it. This will really save our people, and allow us to keep talented crew members in our series.
"The new rules mean that our time on the track in the early part of the race weekend is going to be even more important in terms of figuring out the car and finding a good balance. That's because we won't have as much data to work with out of the box.
"To help with this, CART increased practice time on Friday to four hours, and eliminated Friday qualifying. So whereas this year, provisional qualifying was held on Friday at road courses and street circuits, now only Saturday's final qualifying session will determine the starting grid. All in all, I think these changes are going to be a big positive for everyone in the series.
"As far as next season's schedule of races, I am really excited to go to the new tracks in Texas, Monterrey, Mexico, England and Germany. I've heard that the Lausitzring circuit in Germany is amazing.
"The fans there are going to be very impressed with our style of racing. People have asked me if it's a problem that we're racing the same weekend as Formula One's Italian Grand Prix, but I'm not worried at all. I think we'll attract a lot of fans. Germany certainly has enough motor sports fans for both series."
Mauricio Gugelmin drives the No. 17 PacWest Nextel Mercedes-Benz in the CART FedEx Championship Series