TEAM AUSTRALIA TAKES DELIVERY OF NEW CHAMP CARS Santa dropped in early to Team Australia's Indianapolis headquarters this morning with a much-welcomed gift. Team Australia was one of 10 Champ Car teams to take delivery of the new Panoz DP01 ...
TEAM AUSTRALIA TAKES DELIVERY OF NEW CHAMP CARS
Santa dropped in early to Team Australia's Indianapolis headquarters this morning with a much-welcomed gift.
Team Australia was one of 10 Champ Car teams to take delivery of the new Panoz DP01 chassis which will be used exclusively in the 2007 championship.
The newly-constructed cars arrived in Indianapolis from the Elan Motorsports facility in Braselton, Georgia, and each team was greeted with a carbon-fiber machine distinguishable from the others only by a car number and a team logo affixed to the nose.
Team Australia co-owner Derrick Walker said his dedicated crew could not wait to get their hands on the new car.
"I guess this is an exciting new era for the sport of Champ Car," said Walker.
"It is exciting for all the guys who are keen to get to work on pulling it apart and seeing how it all works. I guess you could say that they are all like kids on Christmas morning.
"The better understanding we have of the car before we hit the track the better.
"The new Panoz is their new toy, although a little more expensive than what will be sitting under most Christmas trees on Monday morning."
Champ Car president, Steve Johnson, believes that the new Panoz PD01 will just be one factor that helps take Champ Car to greater heights in 2007.
"We look at today as the actual start of the 2007 season," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson.
"This has been an exciting process, watching the new Champ Car take shape. From the first design sketches to wind tunnel testing and now to see the cars going to our teams, it has been a very rewarding experience for all of us and I couldn't be happier about the way our team as well as the team from Elan Motorsports Technologies have performed throughout the process. "
The delivery completed a year-long process that carried the new Champ Car from design to construction and included a rigorous testing schedule that saw former driver Roberto Moreno put 2,500 miles on a single car during three weeks at Sebring International Raceway.
After that, the car went on the road, running exhibition laps in Australia and Mexico City before becoming the first Champ Car ever to turn laps in China, completing successful show laps at Zhuhai in advance of 2007's inaugural Champ Car event.
"In all my years of experience in motorsport, I have never known a situation where a manufacturer was able to deliver as many as ten "all-new" race cars of this complexity before Christmas," said EMT CEO David Bowes.
"It is a tremendous feat and everyone at Elan should be proud of what they have accomplished. In just over one year we have designed, developed and built a prototype car, undertaken over two thousand miles of successful testing, and then built ten production cars. The plan is to continue on and build thirty-five cars before the start of 2007 season."
EMT and Champ Car will continue production of the new DP01 chassis, constructing batches of five cars at a time until the 2007 goal of 35 is reached.
-credit: team australia