PKV RACING'S CRISTIANO DA MATTA TESTS FOR TWO DAYS ON HOMESTEAD ROAD COURSE INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - FEBRUARY 21, 2005 - - PKV Racing's Cristiano da Matta completed his first full days of testing with the team running February 17-18 on the...
PKV RACING'S CRISTIANO DA MATTA TESTS FOR TWO DAYS ON HOMESTEAD ROAD COURSE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - FEBRUARY 21, 2005 - - PKV Racing's Cristiano da Matta completed his first full days of testing with the team running February 17-18 on the Homestead road course, in Homestead, Florida.
Da Matta, who signed with PKV Racing on February 1, participated in a "shakedown" session on February 4 at Sebring International Raceway, but had to leave the test due to his commitment to compete in the Rolex 24. As a result, the two-day test at Homestead was the first significant time the 2002 Series Champion has spent in a Champ Car in 27 months having competed in Formula One the last two seasons.
"PKV Racing had a very good test on the Homestead road course," said General Manager Jim McGee. "Cristiano (da Matta) ran both days and completed 350 miles. The two days of testing gave him a lot of track time to get reacquainted with a Champ Car and based on our data his times were very competitive," McGee noted. "However, the main objective of the test was to continue to work through our aerodynamic and mechanical programs and we made a lot of progress in both those areas. The PKV Racing crew also spent part of the test working on 'hot' pit stops in anticipation of the start of the 2005 season. Overall, it was a very good test for the team," concluded McGee.
Commenting on the test da Matta said, "I feel very positive after being in the PKV Racing car for two days. We ran a lot of miles and had no trouble. This was the first significant amount of time I have had to work with the engineers and mechanics and the fact that we were very competitive makes me excited. We still have a lot of work to do, but as of right now I know we can be competitive."
Da Matta went on to explain, "The first morning it took me a little time to get up to speed because I had to concentrate on coordinately my footwork. But, by the end of the morning session I was running competitive lap times and by the end of the first full day of testing I felt very comfortable in the PKV Racing car. I am glad that we have a little break in testing before going to Fontana. It will give me some time to go over things mentally. I know I still have some work to do, but by the time we get to the Fontana test I know I will be feeling even better than when I left Homestead.
Next up for PKV Racing is three days of testing on the road course at California Speedway in Fontana, California, March 7-9. Both da Matta and teammate Jimmy Vasser will participate at the test.
Founded in January 2003, Indianapolis-based PKV Racing will field a two-car effort during the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. The third-year team is owned by successful venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven, who also co-owns the Champ Car World Series, and Dan Pettit, along with 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser, who drives the #12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry. The second car, the #21 PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine, is piloted by 2002 Series Champion Cristiano da Matta. PKV Racing is managed by the most successful Manager/Chief Mechanic in USAC/CART/Champ Car history, Jim McGee, who has amassed 89 victories and nine national championships.