CHICAGO, July 7, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie driver Shinji Nakano participated in a two-day CART-sanctioned test at Chicago Motor Speedway in preparation for the Target Grand Prix, which will be held at the 1-mile oval during the weekend of...
CHICAGO, July 7, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie driver Shinji Nakano participated in a two-day CART-sanctioned test at Chicago Motor Speedway in preparation for the Target Grand Prix, which will be held at the 1-mile oval during the weekend of July 28 - 30.
Most of the Champ Car drivers in the CART FedEx Series were at the Chicago test session, which focused on finding out which version of the Hanford Device will make for a better race in the July race. The original version was tested during Thursday morning's session, but after Gil de Ferran and Alex Tagliani crashed during that morning session, CART asked its teams to switch to the Mk II version of the Hanford device for the rest of the session. The original Hanford was found to not provide enough downforce for a low-grip racetrack like Chicago.
Speeds in the Thursday morning practice session were significantly quicker than those the rest of the test. Shinji ended up in 13th place (out of 20 drivers) overall on Thursday with a fast lap of 24.258 seconds.
"It was a good test, and we got lots of miles in," said team manager Rob Edwards. "Shinji had a chance to get comfortable again on a one mile oval. It's a tricky track, the corners are quite slow and straights quite fast. It was apparent that the Hanford Wing we ran on the first morning was wasn't the way to go, it made the cars quite nervous, so we changed to the other wing, and although that one isn't ideal either, we had a chance to get a lot of miles in on it."
Shinji finished the two-day test with a total of 292 laps and a best time of 23.240 seconds, which put him in fifteenth place in the overall test session standings.
Watch Shinji in round 10 of the FedEx Championship Series on July16 at the Molson Indy race in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The race will be broadcast at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.