CHAMPCAR/CART: Mark Blundell Impressed With His New Mercedes-Benz Reynard

(Phoenix, AZ) -- PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell stepped out his Motorola Mercedes-Benz Reynard a little stiff and sore after a day of testing at Phoenix International Raceway today, but was full of praise for his weapon of choice for this year's...

(Phoenix, AZ) -- PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell stepped out his Motorola Mercedes-Benz Reynard a little stiff and sore after a day of testing at Phoenix International Raceway today, but was full of praise for his weapon of choice for this year's FedEx Championship Series.

It was the first time Blundell had been in a racecar since the final round of the championship at California Speedway last year and he completed 115 laps.

The new 2KI Reynard chassis has a different seating position than last year's car and Blundell had a little trouble settling into the new cockpit configuration.

"The seating position is something we will tweak tomorrow and I am sure we can work it out," said Blundell. "I am sore in a few places, but that is expected after almost a three-month break. "I will sleep well tonight. "It was just great to be back in a racecar and one that offers so much promise. "The Mercedes-Benz engine seems very strong and I am looking forward to pushing it a little more tomorrow and on the road course later in the week. "'Mo' (teammate Mauricio Gugelmin) has already praised the new car and so far I have no reason to disagree with him. The new wing package has a reasonable baseline at this stage."

The test session was overseen by PacWest's new engineering recruits Guillaume "Rocky" Rocquelin and Steve Clark and the team's Technical Director, Allen McDonald.

PacWest's Vice-President of Race Operations, John Anderson, was also at the test and was pleased with the run despite some lost time in the morning due to the fitting of some late-arriving short oval pieces from Reynard.

"It is certainly encouraging that we are getting in so many uninterrupted miles at this stage of the season," said Anderson. "Mercedes-Benz has produced a new engine which is not only driveable, but that has hardly missed a beat. Consistency at this stage of the season allows you to get on with the job and that is exactly what the boys are doing."

Blundell will have the chance to rest in his Phoenix home tonight before continuing his two-day test at PIR tomorrow. He will hand over the wheel to teammate Mauricio Gugelmin on Thursday.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , John Anderson , Steve Clark