Phoenix, AZ -- PacWest Racing teammates Mark Blundell and Mauricio Gugelmin were among the pacesetters at a multi-team test at Phoenix International Raceway today, consistently lapping in the 19.7-second range to record their best-ever times at...
Phoenix, AZ -- PacWest Racing teammates Mark Blundell and Mauricio Gugelmin were among the pacesetters at a multi-team test at Phoenix International Raceway today, consistently lapping in the 19.7-second range to record their best-ever times at the 1-mile Arizona oval.
The Mercedes-powered duo recorded 270 incident-free miles during the session for a combined total of over 1600 pre-season testing miles.
"Everything went pretty well and we had a solid, very constructive test," commented Blundell, back for his fourth season behind the wheel of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz.
"We got in a long run and were able to share a lot of information between the two cars.
"We were faster than we were yesterday, and even in the heat of the day I still managed a 19.9-second lap, which was pretty encouraging."
Teammate Gugelmin -- completing his first test in the recently unveiled #17 Nextel PacWest machine -- had an equally productive day.
"The car was good right out of the box," noted Gugelmin, one of the most respected drivers on the CART circuit and the newly-appointed Chairman of the Championship Drivers Association (CDA).
"It's obvious that the guys on the team have really done their homework, and I'm very impressed.
"We were able to try a lot of things and learn more about the 2000 package.
"Everything is coming together very well and the combination of our new engineers, our new Mercedes-Benz IC108F, the Reynard 2KI, and our development programs is producing some very exciting results.
"Overall, I think today was probably the best test we've had so far this season."
Gugelmin and his Nextel PacWest crew will conduct their final pre-season road course test on March 2-3 at the Firebird East circuit outside Phoenix.
The opening round of the FedEx Championship Series will be held at the Homestead Miami Speedway on March 24-26.