INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.(February 16, 2001) -- Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr. completed two successful days of testing at Laguna Seca Raceway on Thursday with encouraging results. Wednesday, the first day of testing, saw Jourdain ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.(February 16, 2001) -- Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr. completed two successful days of testing at Laguna Seca Raceway on Thursday with encouraging results.
Wednesday, the first day of testing, saw Jourdain complete approximately 90 laps on two sets of tires, posting a fast time of 1 minute, 9.0 seconds. Thursday, on a faster track and having worked their way through a rigorous engineering schedule, the team made considerable progress, lopping a full second from their time (1'08.048) and the second fastest for a Ford-Cosworth powered car.
Managing Director Keith Wiggins was encouraged but not surprised by the progress.
"The car had a fair amount of understeer in it on Wednesday but we made some pretty significant changes to the set up during the afternoon and Michel reacted well to the increased balance. Thursday was a good day for evaluation against our competitors and we were happy with the result. As I've said before, there are no points awarded for pre-season testing so the goal was not to go out and set the fastest time, but it's good to be in the right ball park."
Crew Chief Vince Kremer was pleased as well. "I'm really happy with how things are coming together. With just under one thousand miles of testing under our belts for the off-season, a new engine package, and some new personnel in key positions, the team is gelling well. Michel is getting more comfortable every day with this crew and we feel confident that we're going to be able to support him to the fullest this year."
The team's second Lola chassis has been in preparation for the past week and will be the chassis of choice at the team's next test in Sebring, Fla. on February 22nd and 23rd. The team's third Lola chassis arrived from England this week. The test days scheduled for Firebird and Phoenix International Raceway at the end of the month have been cancelled.
Wiggins commented on the test venue change, "We feel that we have much more to gain in road course testing. Sebring is more convenient for us and better for our schedule in terms of being prepared to leave for the first race in Monterrey. There is always good competition there and we feel that we have a good baseline of our performance on that track. It just makes good sense."
Meanwhile back at the race shop, the Herdez Bettenhausen karting team, led by fabricator Jimmy Drinan, snagged the weekly winner's trophy in the ILikeRacing.com indoor karting series championship being held at Stefan Johansson Karting Center in Indianapolis. The series, pitting crews from Indy-area race teams in a 10-week championship, is hotly contested. The traveling crew would like to thank substitute drivers Ricky Vaughn and Robby Ott for stepping in during their testing commitments.