CHAMPCAR/CART: Mark Blundell Completes First Road Course Test

Phoenix, AZ – PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell received a further confidence boost for the approaching FedEx Championship Series season when he completed his first road course test session with the new Motorola Mercedes-Benz/Reynard 2KI...

Phoenix, AZ – PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell received a further confidence boost for the approaching FedEx Championship Series season when he completed his first road course test session with the new Motorola Mercedes-Benz/Reynard 2KI package at the Firebird East circuit in Phoenix today.

Blundell overcame an early minor "off" on an "ice-like" track surface to produce a solid test, which he admits has deepened his faith in the new-look 2000 package.

"The overall package continues to impress me more every time I get the chance to drive it," said Blundell.

"The Mercedes-Benz engine is a lot stronger than last year and it is nice to have the use of that extra power.

"The track was very slippery early, but we learned from that and worked our way through the day and produced some respectable times.

"We will keep chipping away and hope that everything we are learning converts to the race track."

The 135-mile session was another positive for the PacWest team in what has been quite a demanding pre-season testing schedule, according to Team Manager Russell Cameron.

"We certainly learned a lot about running on surfaces with little grip," said Cameron.

"The Mercedes-Benz engine has more power and the car has less downforce and that is never a good combination.

"This whole week has been a terrific learning experience for all of us."

The PacWest team will now have an eight-day break before the official colors of its new machines for the 2000 FedEx Championship Series are revealed at a special launch in Miami on Monday, February 7.

Testing will continue at the annual Spring Training at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 9-10 before sessions back at Phoenix International Raceway on February 28-29.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Blundell