Schiavo impressed on Champ Car debut Venezuelan Luis Schiavo has admitted to be impressed by the power and performance of Dale Coyne's Champ Car following the first of two scheduled test days at Indianapolis' Putnam Park. The first...
Schiavo impressed on Champ Car debut
Venezuelan Luis Schiavo has admitted to be impressed by the power and performance of Dale Coyne's Champ Car following the first of two scheduled test days at Indianapolis' Putnam Park.
The first Venezuelan to run in a 750bhp Champ Car, Schiavo completed nearly 200 miles on the day, learning both track and machine, and gradually building up his confidence under Coyne's watchful tutelage.
"I feel very satisfied," the 23-year old reported, "The car is quite different to what I imagined, however. It certainly has enough power - it is almost triple what I am used to in Formula Mazda - and, after 100 laps, my neck began to hurt a little, because driving it was quite a physical experience. However, it was a productive day. It was a day really for me to adapt to this car, but, by the end of it, we were only about a few seconds off the best time around this track, and I believe that, tomorrow, we can improve again."
"It was a good test," veteran team boss Coyne confirmed, "It is a big step to go from Pro Formula Mazda to one of these cars. It is also an unusual step, so I think that, for his first day, Luis did very well, he certainly coped with the physical part of the car."
"The times were competitive and, after this test and perhaps a couple more, he would be ready to race. In fact, I think that he would be ready for the Champ Car series this year. I can see where we began and where we finished today, and it was good. The first time that you drive one of these things, there are so many things in your head, so this a great step for him. Physically, he is capable of doing it but, mentally, there is a lot of pressure on your first day. Tomorrow will be calmer.
"Luis was only two-and-a-half seconds off the times of Oriol Servia - we have had various different pilots here and the fastest one was Servia, who is a very competitive pilot. So, if, on your first day, you are that close, it is very good.
"It also pleases me a lot to give him the opportunity to be the first Venezuelan Champ Car pilot - I feel very proud of that. It is very good to give the opportunity to drivers from different countries, especially people that has not been here before."
Acknowledging that being the first of fifth Venezuelan to try a Champ Car didn't carry that much significance, Schiavo admitted that running with Coyne was the culmination of a dream.
"It signifies a lot for me," he revealed, "Four or five years ago, I didn't think that I could make it to this level - not because I lacked talent, but because it was a dream that seemed very far away. Today, it became reality thanks to sponsors such as Energy Freight, and the people that have supported me."
Buoyed by the result of his first test, Schiavo now sees no reason why he cannot set his sights on racing
"To run in Champ Cars, I will have to adapt more to the car but, more importantly than that, I will have to get the backing of more sponsors," he admitted matter-of-factly, "With the support of Energy Freight, I have managed to get this test, and I would expect to include them and other businesses in my plans to race in this series."