CHAMPCAR/CART: Roberto Moreno Has Successful First Test for Visteon/Patrick

MORENO HAS SUCCESSFUL FIRST TEST FOR VISTEON/PATRICK RACING JACKSON, MI -- January 24, 2000 -- Roberto Moreno got his turn and made his first test a success, during a two-day run for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team, January 23-24, at the...

MORENO HAS SUCCESSFUL FIRST TEST FOR VISTEON/PATRICK RACING

JACKSON, MI -- January 24, 2000 -- Roberto Moreno got his turn and made his first test a success, during a two-day run for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team, January 23-24, at the Firebird road course in Arizona. Moreno, who had his first scheduled test rained out last week at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, put the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing/Ford-Cosworth through its paces running through the team's entire check list with very successful results.

"We had a fantastic first two days of testing," said Moreno. "I am very pleased with my first test for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team. We ran a lot of miles which allowed me to get into the rhythm of being a race car driver again. I was up to speed from the first day. It was just a lot of fun. I am so happy to be driving the car again.

The 40-year-old Brazilian, who last ran a CART car at Laguna Seca Raceway on September 12, turned a quick time of 47.6. Because the Firebird road course has been reconfigured, making comparisons are difficult, but the Weston, Florida resident proclaimed himself pleased with the results.

"I was very pleased with the performance of the Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Firestone package," said Moreno. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth was great. We tried a lot of different things and made a big improvement the second day. The Reynard chassis is very good. It reacts well to changes and the new Ford-Cosworth engine is definitely a better engine. It has a very good, wide power band. I was also very pleased with the performance of the Firestone tires. They were strong and very durable. We were able to run 60 laps on one set." Moreno, who signed with Visteon/Patrick Racing on December 16, is entering his seventh CART season, but just his third full season and first with Visteon/Patrick Racing. Best known in CART circles as "Super-sub," for his ability to take over for injured drivers and produce at a very high level, he has started 61 CART races for five different teams. Following his first test with his new team he saved his highest praise for the Visteon/Patrick Racing crew and engineers.

"The interaction between the crew, engineers and me is great. We get along very well. The entire Visteon/Patrick Racing crew is very professional and works very hard. It is one of the most experienced and professional teams I have ever worked with. Engineers Ed Nathman and John Ward work very well together. They have come up with some good ideas that show up positively on the race track, and the crew is always on top of things. No matter how many changes we make, or what is happening on the track, they always seem to be one step ahead. I am very happy and proud to be a part of this organization."

Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee also expressed pleasure with the results of Moreno's first test saying, "This was our first time at Firebird with the new car, and the first time we have tested with Roberto and his car. I think it was a very successful test and I am very pleased with the results. We came up with some solid answers here at Firebird and we have a good menu for our next road test at Sebring."

McGee also cited Moreno's efforts as a factor in the success of the test. "Roberto works as well as any driver we have had with the Patrick Racing engineers and crew. He is a very professional tester and gave us a lot of good input during and after the test."

Patrick Racing moves to Phoenix International Raceway for two days of testing January 25-26. Adrian Fernandez will test the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth at PIR on Tuesday, January 25 with Moreno scheduled to take to the track for his first oval test on Wednesday, January 26.

Following the PIR test Patrick Racing will return to Indianapolis to analyze the results before heading to Sebring, February 5-6. Moreno will do the driving at Sebring. Both drivers will test during Spring Training at Homestead, Florida on February 8-10.

PATRICK RACING NOTES: McGee Sets Record For Most Wins: With Adrian Fernandez' victory in the season finale at Fontana, Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee took over first place on the all-time wins list for a General-Team Manager/Chief Mechanic. McGee, who is the only General-Team Manager/Chief Mechanic to win a championship in four decades (60's - 90's), and has at least one victory in each of his last five decades, has a total of 86 victories.

Patrick Racing Facts: Patrick Racing, which is entering its 28th year of competition, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing with 41 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships. U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno