CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest encouraged at Mid-Ohio test

(Lexington, Oh) -- The PacWest Racing Group's Mark Blundell received a confidence boost for next weekend's seventh round of the FedEx Championship Series in Detroit when he clocked the seventh-fastest time in a CART open test at Mid-Ohio ...

(Lexington, Oh) -- The PacWest Racing Group's Mark Blundell received a confidence boost for next weekend's seventh round of the FedEx Championship Series in Detroit when he clocked the seventh-fastest time in a CART open test at Mid-Ohio today.

Several areas of the popular road course were very slippery early in the day because of leakage caused by recent rain, but the track dried out and some reasonable times were set in the afternoon session.

Blundell did 58 laps in total and set a fastest lap of one minute and 07.932 seconds in his #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz.

The Englishman's teammate Mauricio Gugelmin also ran consistently, but had a minor mechanical problem late in the day causing his session to be cut short by about 30 minutes.

The open test continues tomorrow.

#18 MARK BLUNDELL - #18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ

"I think we learnt a few things, but obviously we could have gathered a lot more data with more track time," said Blundell.

"The conditions were a little difficult and very slippery early, but as they say, they were the same for everyone.

"I enjoyed being back on a road course today and I am certainly looking forward to Detroit next weekend.

"I think today has given us a good base to build on tomorrow."

#17 MAURICIO GUGELMIN -- #17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ

"The car we had today was quite balanced and probably good enough to be in the top five if we had not messed around with tires and different things," said Gugelmin.

"We had a minor mechanical problem later in the day and it ended our session early.

"Despite the delays and things I am actually feeling pretty good about today.

"I think we have plenty work with tomorrow."

TOP 10: Gil de Ferran (1:06.568s) 1; Gil de Ferran X (1:07.220) 2; Michael Andretti (1:07.336s) 3; Max Papis (1:07.412s) 4; Dario Franchitti (1:07.588s) 5; Christian Fittipaldi (1:07.674s) 6; Mark Blundell (1:07.932s) 7; Kenny Brack (1:07.940s) 8; Tony Kanaan (1:08.068s) 9; Christiano da Matta (1:08.132s) 10.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Max Papis , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Kenny Brack , Mark Blundell