CHAMPCAR/CART: Paul Tracy 1st test with Team Player's at Sebring

Looking good in blue: Paul Tracy upbeat after first testing session with Team Player's. Sebring, Florida, January 20, 2003 Paul Tracy beamed as he donned the blue-coloured Team Player's fire-suit for the first time Monday, before putting in...

Looking good in blue:
Paul Tracy upbeat after first testing session with Team Player's.

Sebring, Florida, January 20, 2003 Paul Tracy beamed as he donned the blue-coloured Team Player's fire-suit for the first time Monday, before putting in 50-60 productive testing laps on the 1.72-mile Sebring road circuit that he shared with two other CART teams.

"The driver's suit was a bit late arriving, but I was happy when it got here," said Tracy. "I put it on as soon as I saw it. It's been a good day. We seem to be quite competitive right away, with no mechanical problems or issues at all."

The first day of Tracy's two-day session at Sebring was spent getting adjusted to his Team Player's Champ car that bears the number 3, especially its steering and pedal arrangements, as well as conducting braking evaluations, using different pads and discs to find the best combination.

While Team Player's has switched this year to a Lola chassis, with which Tracy is familiar, it also has the Ford Cosworth engine that every team in the CART series will be using this season. In recent years, Tracy has run with the Honda engine.

"I believe that getting used to the Ford engine is the biggest hurdle for me at this time," remarked Tracy. "It drives a lot differently than what I've been accustomed to, so I've got to learn the engine's characteristics, and that's something we will be working on in our pre-season testing sessions."

While Tracy's testing debut enabled him to get acquainted with his new crew, he needed no introduction to at least one Team Player's member Tony Cicale, the team's technical adviser who was previously Tracy's race engineer.

"After this first day of testing, it's clear that Paul is a great addition to the team," said Team Player's manager Phil LePan. "He has plenty of experience, he's very calm and cool, and you can see right away that his relationship with Tony Cicale will be a big benefit to the team's success this season."

Following Tracy's testing session on Tuesday, he will then join teammate Patrick Carpentier for another two-day test session with all CART teams in Laguna Seca, California, January 25-26.

-tp-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy