DETROIT (June 7, 2001) - Defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske will be one of five drivers who will participate Tuesday in a CART Special Test at Michigan International Speedway to evaluate Champ Car ...
DETROIT (June 7, 2001) - Defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske will be one of five drivers who will participate Tuesday in a CART Special Test at Michigan International Speedway to evaluate Champ Car performance levels as well as newly mandated engine and aerodynamic changes.
De Ferran will be joined by Dario Franchitti of Team KOOL Green, Max Papis of Team Rahal, Christian Fittipaldi of Newman/Haas Racing and Bryan Herta of Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing to test engine and aerodynamic changes that have been mandated for performance containment in the FedEx Championship Series' preparation for the Michigan 500 Presented by Toyota set for July 22 at the 2-mile superspeedway.
"The on-track activity from this test will verify the results of testing by teams and manufacturers to contain the race car's performance in the best interest of our drivers and the sport," said Kirk Russell, CART vice president of competition. "The test will allow us to receive valuable input from the drivers on the changes and evaluate if any further changes will be warranted. We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the teams and their drivers for this special test."
The one-day test will be divided into two sessions and encompass five hours of on-track activity. The first session will run from 9:30 a.m. - noon ET and the second from 2-4:30 p.m. CART Timing and Scoring will be working the sessions and a media availability session will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the media center. Due to the nature of the test, it will not be open to the general public.
The engine alteration will involve reducing the maximum manifold pressure (boost) from the current standard of 37 inches to 36 in an effort to contain power output. On the aerodynamic package, the backplate on the Handford MkI device, located on the rear wing, will extend downward an additional three inches, increasing it to nine inches in length. The move is expected to reduce downforce and improve the handling of the car in traffic.
CART also will mandate that all FedEx Championship Series teams terminate all bodywork and aerodynamic devices 11 inches aft of the differential centerline, the lone exception being the rear wing. This change will remain in effect for the remainder of the season in an effort to limit specific development in this area that could potentially reduce drag and/or improve rear-wing efficiency.
The next race is the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at The Raceway on Belle Isle set for June 17, Round 7 of 21 in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. The series visits seven countries and four continents during the season and climaxes with the season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Sunday, Nov. 4 at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Thanks to a partnership between Marlboro, Toyota, CART and California Speedway, the winner of the season finale will collect $1 million, one of the largest paydays in all of motorsports. An additional $1 million, as well as the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup, will be awarded to the driver who wins the FedEx Championship Series championship.