PKV RACING CONCLUDES PRESEASON WITH TEST AT SEBRING INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MARCH 24, 2005 - - PKV Racing concluded its preseason program with a two-day test, March 23-24, at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Once again,...
PKV RACING CONCLUDES PRESEASON WITH TEST AT SEBRING
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MARCH 24, 2005 - - PKV Racing concluded its preseason program with a two-day test, March 23-24, at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
Once again, the team came away pleased with the progress they made in developing both PKV Racing machines in preparation for the start of the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series season a little over two weeks from now at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California.
"I am very pleased with the progress the PKV Racing team made at Sebring and during the entire preseason," said General Manager Jim McGee. "The weather limited us a little, but what track time we had, we put to good use. PKV Racing continued to make steady progress with our aerodynamic and mechanical programs at Sebring in preparation for the start of the 2005 season and I am happy with were we stand at this point with both cars. Now we will head back to Indiana, review the data we gathered and make some final adjustments. Overall, PKV Racing is ready for the start of the season and I am confident that we will be competitive," concluded McGee.
Both Jimmy Vasser, who is behind the wheel of the #12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine and Cristiano da Matta, who pilots the #21 PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry, participated in the test on the 1.66-mile, seven-turn Sebring "short" road course.
Vasser, who is in his 14th season of Champ Car competition and second with PKV Racing, ran a total of 230 miles over the two days of testing. He put in what is referred to as his "50-mile day", on Wednesday, March 23 because inclement weather, first rain then high winds, prevented the team from putting in a full day of testing. The "50-mile day" does not count as part of the eight days of testing Vasser is allowed under the Champ Car World Series rules. On Thursday, March 24, Vasser, the 1996 Series Champion, logged another 180 miles. While all times were unofficial the native of California, who is the only owner/driver in the series, was extremely competitive running the second fastest time of the 15 drivers testing over the two days.
"I am very pleased with the progress the PKV Racing team made at Sebring," Vasser began. "As I have said several times before, we have a lot of new programs and new people in place this year at PKV Racing, but we have definitely upgraded the team and I am pleased with the way our preseason has gone. Everyone at PKV Racing is a professional and we have really come together as a team under the leadership of Jim McGee," Vasser noted. "This has been a fun and exciting off-season. PKV Racing has worked hard. Now I am looking forward to the start of the 2005 season," Vasser said.
Meanwhile, da Matta, the 2002 Series Champion, did not run on Wednesday because of the weather, but put in a full day of testing on the Thursday. Da Matta, who is returning to Champ Car for his fifth season after spending the last two year in Formula 1, tallied a total of 213 miles. The native of Brazil unofficially had the sixth overall fastest time.
Commenting on the test da Matta said, "It is unfortunate that I lost a day to the weather, but that might be a positive because it will give me an extra day of testing during the season if we need it. Overall, I am very pleased with the way the Sebring test went. We learned some new things that will help us going into Long Beach and for some of the other races this season."
Da Matta, who has logged almost 1000 miles in his last three tests, went on to say, "This has been a great preseason for me. I have run a lot of miles, which has given me the chance to get used to a Champ Car again. Plus, the atmosphere at PKV Racing is really good. Jimmy is a great teammate and the guys on the crew work hard, but they also know how to have fun. It is a very confident, but relaxed team. We know we are competitive, but we also know that we still have a lot of work to do and we will keep at all season long. I am very happy to be at PKV Racing and I am very confident going into the start of the season because the only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves."
Next up for PKV Racing is the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series season opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 8-10, on the streets of Long Beach, California. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.
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.