JUNQUEIRA COMPLETED FIRST OFFICIAL CHAMP CAR TEST IN PREPARATION FOR 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP BID SEBRING, Fla. (January 27, 2006) -- Bruno Junqueira completed his first Champ Car test at Sebring International Raceway today in preparation for the 2006...
JUNQUEIRA COMPLETED FIRST OFFICIAL CHAMP CAR TEST IN PREPARATION FOR 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP BID
SEBRING, Fla. (January 27, 2006) -- Bruno Junqueira completed his first Champ Car test at Sebring International Raceway today in preparation for the 2006 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. It was his first official test of the season and second since recovering from an accident in the Indy Racing League-sanctioned Indianapolis 500 on May 29, 2005. Due to his accident, Junqueira was forced to end his season early after having taken over the points lead en route to attempting to better his 2002, 2003 and 2004 rank of second place.
The test began yesterday but the team elected to run only 30 laps around the 1.65-mile track and count the day as a 50-mile one that would not count against their total of three allowable test days per driver. Junqueira got back behind the wheel today and completed 137 trouble-free laps (226 miles) with a best lap time of 50.63. In comparison, his fastest lap time during his initial shakedown/evaluation in December was a 50.9.
"It was a productive day for the first of Bruno's three test days for 2006," said John Tzouanakis, team manager of Newman/Haas Racing. "We came here with a big test program and went through everything. Bruno is back to his old form before the accident and everyone was happy to get back on track for the first time in 2006."
Newman/Haas Racing will resume testing in February when Sebastien Bourdais will get behind the wheel of a Champ Car for the first time since clinching his second consecutive championship. Bourdais will attempt to become the first open-wheel driver to earn three consecutive titles since Ted Horn accomplished the feat from 1946-1948. The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season-opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 7-9, 2006.
Newman/Haas Racing LLC, owned by actor/race car driver Paul Newman and racing entrepreneur Carl A. Haas, is the most successful team competing in the Champ Car World Series and second most successful open-wheel racing team overall. Marlboro Team Penske has 124 open-wheel wins in 38 seasons while NHR has 90 in 23 seasons. The team will begin their 24th season in Champ Car competition in 2006 and will attempt to score their seventh overall title after winning 90 races and 92 pole positions. Current drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira were preceded at the team by Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta as well as 2005 driver Oriol Servia. For more information log on to www.newman-haas.com, www.brunojunqueira.com, www.sebastien-bourdais.com, or www.champcarworldseries.com.