CHAMPCAR/CART: Spring Training Mercedes-Benz Report

FedEx Championship Series Report Race: CART Spring Training, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla. Date/Session: Feb. 10, 2000 Blundell Quickest Mercedes at Spring Training Mercedes-Benz continued its development of the new...

FedEx Championship Series Report

Race: CART Spring Training, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.    
Date/Session:   Feb. 10, 2000   

Blundell Quickest Mercedes at Spring Training

Mercedes-Benz continued its development of the new IC108F V8 powerplant on this second and final day of CART Spring Training in preparation for the 2000 FedEx Championship Series. Mark Blundell led the Mercedes contingent as Max Papis topped the time charts for the second consecutive day with a circuit of the 1.502-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval in 25.760 seconds (209.907 mph).

As they did on the first day of testing, the two-car PacWest Mercedes team concentrated on perfecting its race cars for competitive conditions with full fuel loads. Blundell ran as high as third quickest in the morning session before ending the day 13th overall with a hot lap of 26.714 seconds (202.411 mph) in his Motorola Mercedes entry. His teammate, Nextel Mercedes driver Mauricio Gugelmin, lapped the speedway in 26.838 seconds (201.476 mph)

The newly formed Mo Nunn Racing team worked diligently throughout the day to refine its Mercedes-powered Reynard for driver Tony Kanaan. Kanaan's quick lap of 26.755 seconds (202.101 mph) moved the driver up to 14th place overall.

Michel Jourdain Jr. and his Bettenhausen Herdez Mercedes team contended with mechanical problems in both sessions Thursday, which limited Jourdain's track time. But the fifth-year driver improved considerably on Wednesday's performance by posting a quick lap of 27.415 seconds (197.235 mph). The CART circuit returns to Miami for the season-opening Marlboro Grand Prix on March 26th.

Mercedes Quotes

Mark Blundell, No. 18, PacWest Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (13th/26.714 seconds) "We made some long runs today with full tanks on older tires, and we've gotten a balance in the car that we can read predictably. There's still some time to find in the chassis, but we're not far off. We came to Homestead with a lot of optimism because our testing has been going very well, and these past two days have only served to increase my confidence."

Tony Kanaan, No. 55, Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes/Firestone (14th/26.755 seconds) "We've now had two test sessions together as a team*one on the road course and one on the oval. I think we're heading back to the shop with a good baseline. We have six more days of testing before race weekend here, which is only two days less than everyone else. So we're not far behind. I'm confident that we'll be very competitive."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, PacWest Nextel Mercedes/Firestone (16th/26.838 seconds) "My car ran well today. We ran full-tank stints with race set-ups -- the same as yesterday. We still have a little push in mid-corner, but it's improving. We've learned an awful lot this week, and I think it's a positive start to our season."

Michel Jourdain Jr., No. 16, Bettenhausen Herdez Mercedes/Firestone (22nd/27.415 seconds) "We worked little by little again today on different things -- from the shocks to the wings. We still have a lot of work to do. We'll go on to Sebring and continue to work very hard."

Practice, CART Spring Training Homestead, Fla. Feb. 10, 2000 Pos. Driver Engine Time Speed 1 Max Papis Ford Cosworth 25.760 209.907 2 Kenny Brack Ford Cosworth 25.915 208.651 3 Michael Andretti Ford Cosworth 25.992 208.033 4 Jimmy Vasser Toyota 26.092 207.236 5 Christian Fittipaldi Ford Cosworth 26.113 207.069 6 Juan Montoya Toyota 26.151 206.768 7 Alexandre Tagliani Ford Cosworth 26.193 206.437 8 Patrick Carpentier Ford Cosworth 26.232 206.130 9 Roberto Moreno Ford Cosworth 26.458 204.369 10 Gil de Ferran Honda 26.573 203.485 13 Mark Blundell Mercedes-Benz 26.714 202.411 14 Tony Kanaan Mercedes-Benz 26.755 202.101 16 Mauricio Gugelmin Mercedes-Benz 26.838 201.476 22 Michel Jourdain Jr. Mercedes-Benz 27.415 197.235

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Kenny Brack , Mark Blundell , Michel Jourdain , Mo Nunn