CHAMPCAR/CART: Michigan Test, day one, 98-06-24

Testing In Michigan Brooklyn, MI (June 24, 1998) -- A three-day Goodyear tire test begins today at Michigan Speedway, with participants expected to include Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford) and Christian Fittipaldi (Kmart Swift...

Testing In Michigan

Brooklyn, MI (June 24, 1998) -- A three-day Goodyear tire test begins today at Michigan Speedway, with participants expected to include Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford) and Christian Fittipaldi (Kmart Swift Ford) of Newman/Haas Racing, Al Unser Jr. (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) of Marlboro Team Penske and Gil de Ferran (Valvoline/Cummins Special Reynard Honda) of Walker Racing.

The session will also include testing of the new Hanford Device adopted by CART to help reduce the speed of its Champ Cars on superspeedways. Designed by Mark Handford of Swift Engineering, the device is a wing-like aerodynamic piece fitted to the rear of the car which creates drag and reduces downforce.

The Handford Device will be utilized for the first time at the U.S. 500 Presented by Toyota, July 26 at Michigan Speedway. It will also be used in the FedEx Championship Series season finale, the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota, Nov. 1 at California Speedway .

"Racing and car development is an evolving process," said J. Kirk Russell, CART's vice president of competition. "It was quite apparent that if car development was left unchecked, the speeds at this year's Michigan Speedway and Fontana [California] events would increase over the phenomenal speeds which we saw there last year.

"We feel that by slowing the cars down a bit, we increase safety, as well as enhancing our drivers' ability to race and race comfortably," Russell said. "We are always concerned about safety and we are always concerned about the ability of our drivers to race each other. The Handford Device helps us progress toward both of those objectives."

Testing of the Hanford Device by Unser and Bryan Herta (Shell Reynard Ford) earlier this month at California Speedway resulted in a reduction of some 17 to 23 miles per hour from the world-record, 240.942 mile-per-hour qualifying lap of Mauricio Gugelmin (Hollywood PacWest Mercedes) last year.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Christian Fittipaldi , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta
Teams Team Penske