CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Johansson Firebird test notes 2002-03-13

Hunter-Reay Fast at Firebird Indianapolis, Indiana, March 13, 2003 -- American Spirit Team Johansson driver Ryan Hunter-Reay wrapped up three productive days of testing at Firebird International Raceway's East course on Wednesday. It was the ...

Hunter-Reay Fast at Firebird

Indianapolis, Indiana, March 13, 2003 -- American Spirit Team Johansson driver Ryan Hunter-Reay wrapped up three productive days of testing at Firebird International Raceway's East course on Wednesday. It was the first unofficial test for the 22-year old American; he logged 340 miles on the 1.2 mile road course. The quickest of the three cars testing, Hunter-Reay set a fast time of 48.15 seconds.

"This test was monumental for me in terms of getting comfortable with the Champ Car. We were forced into the deep end of the pool at St. Pete with only the test at Spring Training behind us, so to complete three full days this week was just fantastic. I now feel like it's my Champ Car and my environment and that gives me a lot of extra confidence going into Mexico next week."

With the team just 71 days old, Hunter-Reay's seat-time has been limited. He wasted no time getting his #31 Champ Car up to speed during the test, maximizing the opportunity to develop the car and complete the team's test plan, which included suspension and geometry analysis, "Seat time is invaluable for Ryan right now. We came to the test with a long job list and we accomplished everything we set out to do. I am very happy with the progress Ryan and the team made," commented team manager, Rob Hill. "We learned a lot this week; we will take this knowledge and apply it to results in the upcoming races."

The East road course at Firebird includes 10-turns and a ½ mile straight away, coupled with Arizona's fantastic winter weather makes it an ideal venue for winter testing. "We practiced everything from A -- Z. The team treated each stop like an actual race pit stop, that was great practice for all of us and they did an awesome job," said Hunter-Reay.

In his transition from the Atlantic car to the Champ Car, Hunter-Reay picked up an additional 490 horsepower and 400 lbs. The physical challenges of the Champ Car take some getting used to, "The Champ Car is very demanding both physically and mentally. I have stepped up my fitness program considerably and it is paying off, at the end of the three days I was ready for two more," continued Hunter-Reay.

Round two of the 2003 Bridgestone Present's the Champ Car World Series takes place next week at the Tecate Telmex Grand Pix in Monterrey, Mexico. For more information, please visit www.AmericanSpiritTeamJohansson.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay