Day One a Success, Day Two a Washout for PCM at the Portland Test Oxnard, CA (May 3, 2007) - Due to rain, Pacific Coast Motorsports completed just one of their scheduled two days of testing at Portland International Raceway. Three of the...
Day One a Success, Day Two a Washout for PCM at the Portland Test
Oxnard, CA (May 3, 2007) - Due to rain, Pacific Coast Motorsports completed just one of their scheduled two days of testing at Portland International Raceway. Three of the four scheduled tests this season have been affected by mother-nature, a situation that is particularly frustrating for the rookie team and drivers.
"Practicing in the rain is important as racing in the rain is an element of the Champ Car World Series. Fortunately though, we had that at both Sebring and Houston. Now that the season has started each rookie driver gets just 900 miles of testing. As a new team, every mile in testing is crucial and we just can't maximize the opportunity to learn in wet conditions," commented team manager Michael Harvey. "The test was still very successful for us as a group as we continue to learn and develop this car. Tuesday was a big day, the engineers worked through their test plan and Alex and Ryan completed 330 miles combined, we learned quite a bit about what works with this car."
PCM rookies Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel completed a full day of testing on Tuesday, for Figge, it was his first day back in the car after suffering a mid-thoracic compression and having to sit-out the Houston Grand Prix. The American rookie completed 157 successful miles at PIR, "It was great to be back in the car. I'm still a bit sore but just relieved to have been able to run a lot of miles on Tuesday, without my back being much of an issue. I have to thank Roberto (Moreno) for filling in for me at Houston, but man, it was tough, really tough to sit that one out. I've never missed a race in my life and I hope I never have to experience that again!" While testing on the Portland circuit in a Champ Car was a new experience, Figge has three starts under his belt on the scenic 1.969-mile permanent road course in the Atlantic car, "Portland has always been one of my favorite circuits. It's fast and it's tough, especially in a Champ Car. Getting a solid set-up is key here and I think we worked towards that on Tuesday, it's a shame our test was cut short, but we've got some others scheduled and we are working hard."
While most Champ Car competitors had a weekend after the Grand Prix of Houston, Dalziel headed straight to Virginia International Raceway to drive for Samax in the #11 CITGO Daytona Prototype. Dalziel drove the same car during this year's Rolex 24 and finished second. He was set for another podium this weekend, racing the car from ninth to third, until his car gasped for fuel just before the finish-line, he still earned a very respectable fourth place finish. The Scottish rookie flew straight Portland from VIR to continue developing his #28 DP01. Dalziel finished in the top-ten in two of the first three races of the 2007 Champ Car season, he's optimistic and looks forward to continued progress, "I think we achieved a lot as a new team in the first three races, but this is the time we have all been waiting for, kind of the make or break time for us as a team." Dalziel continued, "of course we focused on results the first three races, but it was almost a time for us to tread water, there was so much for us to learn and experience as rookies. Now that we have the information, we take it with us testing and the engineers will try every type of package and combination, we will figure out what works and what doesn't, we are pretty much 100% focused on development at the moment, which should make a big difference for us as we head into the mid-swing of the season."
Figge and Dalziel finished the day greeting Portland's Champ Car fans downtown at the "On Deck" sports bar and restaurant. "Champ Car certainly has loyal fans in Portland, it was great to meet a lot of them Tuesday night and I am looking forward to giving them a heck of a show when we return next month," said Figge. Dalziel chimed in with a chuckle, "Champ Car fans rock, there was quite a turn-out just for testing, the Portland fans have made it clear, they support their West coast team, we're definitely feeling at home here!"
The Pacific Motorsports squad made the short trek back to their Oxnard, California headquarters Wednesday night. Figge and Dalziel will complete two additional tests prior to round four of the Champ Car World Series in Portland, June 9-10, 2007. They will get their first look at the historic Mt. Tremblant circuit on May 25th, followed by another test, likely in Southern California, but the location has not been finalized.