CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green Pre-season tests Over, Ready for Season

Team Kool Green Ready For 1999 (March 9, 1999) - Team KOOL Green concluded its pre-season Champ Car test program in encouraging fashion as Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti were among the fastest of more than a dozen drivers testing at ...

Team Kool Green Ready For 1999

(March 9, 1999) - Team KOOL Green concluded its pre-season Champ Car test program in encouraging fashion as Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti were among the fastest of more than a dozen drivers testing at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex last week. The team covered more than 850 trouble-free miles March 3-5, despite being limited to less than fifty miles apiece by heavy rains on Wednesday, with Tracy turning a best lap of 25 seconds flat and Franchitti a couple of tenths back at 25.22 seconds.

Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) shook-down Team KOOL Green's fourth Reynard 99I chassis before focusing on engine reliability work with Honda and aerodynamic development. Meanwhile, Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard) concentrated on aerodynamic and mechanical chassis set-up for the Homestead track.

After Wednesday's test was curtailed, Tracy ran some 300 miles on Thursday and posted a fast lap of 25.3 seconds while Franchitti logged a best lap of 25.36 seconds in 164 miles. On Friday Franchitti ran 252 miles and cut more than a tenth of a second off his Thursday time to record a best lap of 25.22 seconds.

"Over the two days we made some fairly big changes and we found some things that worked - and some that didn't," Dario said. "We definitely arrived at a better balance and managed to do some fast, long runs, so I think we'll be in good shape for the race here."

Tracy got down to 25 seconds flat early Friday before reaching the mileage limit on his engine. That matched the fastest times recorded by the Target/Ganassi, Newman/Haas and PacWest teams and came within one-tenth of a second of the fastest lap of the test, turned in by Patrick Racing's Adrian Fernandez. Tracy's times were particularly encouraging given that he was doing set-up work in preparation for the second round of the 1999 FedEx Championship Series at Japan's Twin Ring Motegi circuit, rather than focusing on anything specific to Homestead.

"On Friday, we started on an old set of tires, then we made a change and put on a fresh set of '98 Motegi-spec tires and ran back-to-back laps at 25 [seconds] flat," said Paul. "We made another change and improved the handling even more, but the engine was out of miles.

"It was a really great test - speed-wise, car-wise, and balance-wise. It all came together. It was probably the best test I've had with Team KOOL Green. The car is good; we've got something we can really work with now."

While Tracy and Franchitti were putting the finishing touches on their pre-season test program in Florida, Team KOOL Green driver Alex Gurney continued preparations for the 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Gurney ran some 200 miles on the one-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway in the KOOL Toyota-Swift on March 3-4.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Gurney , Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti