CHAMPCAR/CART: MSR Houston test notes 2006-11-29

Champ Car Teams Attack at Different Speeds During MSR Houston ANGLETON, Texas (November 29, 2006) --Forsythe Championship Racing, Pacific Coast Motorsports and Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing resumed testing at MSR Houston today as the Champ Car World...

Champ Car Teams Attack at Different Speeds During MSR Houston

ANGLETON, Texas (November 29, 2006) --Forsythe Championship Racing, Pacific Coast Motorsports and Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing resumed testing at MSR Houston today as the Champ Car World Series teams continued preparations for the 2007 campaign.

And while yesterday's testing featured different methods of getting a team ready to answer the bell, today saw team strategies take center stage as new and established squads alike fine-tuned their teams in anticipation for the April 8 season opener.

Pacific Coast Motorsports drivers Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge have already proven their speed in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, affording them the luxury of making longer runs that tested tire wear and fuel conservation tactics, strategies that will doubtless come into play once the season starts. At the other end of the pit lane, Mi-Jack/Conquest needed to spend the day seeing if their prospective pilots had the speed necessary to run up front -- and found themselves more than satisfied with the answers. Meanwhile, the Forsythe squad again spent the day testing equipment instead of drivers, allowing a pair of future Champ Car hopefuls to get some miles under their belts.

Having spent the better part of the last month testing Rocketsports Lolas, PCM rookies Dalziel and Figge graduated from simply logging laps to running longer stints. Adding to the degree of difficulty in today's outing, the team's engineers tested their abilities by changing objectives during those stints in order to simulate race conditions.

"I learned a lot today because we tried a lot of different scenarios during the runs," Figge said. "We worked on fuel conservation, which is tough because it is a challenge to keep your pace up while saving fuel. Our guys would change the emphasis during the run, making us work on different things, and I think it was a valuable day."

With rain possible for Thursday, it was imperative that teams got quality work in today and Dalziel reported that he definitely got his work done.

"The plan was to run me into the ground today but I feel a lot better than I expected I would," said the former Atlantic racewinner. "We've run 108 laps on a tough track over the last two days which was good because I know how important the fitness aspect is to success in the series."

Meanwhile Mi-Jack/Conquest accomplished its goals with Alex Premat and Guillaume Moreau, with Premat blistering the 17-turn track in a unofficial best time of 71.8 seconds, making the reigning A1GP champion the only driver of the two days to break the 72-second mark. Moreau got under 73 seconds early in the day, wrapping up two days of testing that saw him complete more than 100 laps.

"We worked very well together and it was really a pleasure to work with this team," grinned Premat after his quick run. "I know they were happy with the speed, and I just hope I get a chance to run against guys like (Justin) Wilson and (Sebastien) Bourdais to see how I do against them."

Forsythe continued working on their equipment, allowing SPEED GT champion Lawson Aschenbach and Atlantic veteran Andreas Wirth to get valuable seat time.

"This was the most unbelievable experience I have ever had in a race car," said Aschenbach after his day of testing. "These cars have incredible braking capability and everything happens so fast. I didn't want to go off and do anything stupid so I started slow and worked my way up, and I reached all my goals for the day. I really need to thank Jerry Forsythe and the whole team for this opportunity."

Wirth relished the opportunity to get back in the Champ Car after running a pair of series events at the end of the 2006 season with Dale Coyne Racing. The German driver was disappointed in his qualifying pace in the Coyne machine, although he finished a strong ninth in his debut, and was satisfied with his efforts today.

"We did a lot of component testing and tried a lot of different things so it wasn't like we did a lot of laps at any one time," he said. "I improved my time at the end of our day when the track wasn't as good, so I am happy. I definitely proved that I'm not a second-and-a-half off of everyone else. It could have been better but I am happy."

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Lawson Aschenbach , Alex Figge , Andreas Wirth , Guillaume Moreau
Teams Conquest Racing