HELIO CASTRONEVES SETS "UNOFFICIAL" TRACK RECORD AT CART'S OPEN TEST AT LAGUNA SECA Marlboro Team Penske drivers once again proved they were the Team to beat on the permanent road courses, by setting the fastest overall times during the two-day...
HELIO CASTRONEVES SETS "UNOFFICIAL" TRACK RECORD AT CART'S OPEN TEST AT LAGUNA SECA
Marlboro Team Penske drivers once again proved they were the Team to beat on the permanent road courses, by setting the fastest overall times during the two-day CART open test at Laguna Seca Raceway. Helio Castroneves set an "unofficial" track record with a time of 67.602 (besting the official track record of 67.895 set by Bryan Herta in 1997). He was followed on the speed charts by teammate Gil de Ferran who posted a fast lap of 67.896 - half a second quicker than the next fastest driver (Patrick Carpentier - 68.477).
The two-day test which took place on August 24-25, featured 23 drivers from 14 different teams in the FedEx Championship Series.
CASTRONEVES ON LAGUNA SECA
"There were a lot of red flags during the past two days, but we definitely made progress. We ran on the same set of tires in both sessions on Thursday and we were still pretty competitive. On Friday, the track conditions improved and we ran all afternoon without much down time. We had lots of little problems, and that's the good thing about a test like this, you're able to take the time and fix the problems. We worked hard to get the car where it needed to be and now the #3 2000 Marlboro Honda Reynard is really, really fast."
DE FERRAN ON LAGUNA SECA
"I'm happy with Marlboro Team Penske's results from the Laguna test. We were able to test a number of different things over the two-day period and find out what works best on the Marlboro car. We accomplished what we came here to do and came up with some pretty good results, which bodes well for our race weekend."
MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE GEARS UP FOR THREE STRAIGHT RACES
Beginning with this Sunday's Molson Indy Vancouver through the streets of downtown Vancouver, the CART FedEx Championship Series will have three races in three consecutive weeks. In addition, the races will all be contested on different types of tracks; from a temporary street course in Vancouver to a permanent road course at Laguna Seca and ending with a short oval in St. Louis.
The last time the FedEx Championship Series had three races in a row, Marlboro Team Penske won two of the three races (Detroit and Portland). De Ferran and Castroneves will be trying to achieve similar results on this trio of challenging circuits.
For de Ferran and Castroneves, Vancouver is one of their favorite places to visit during the season. De Ferran has three top-five finishes including two podiums (third place in '97 and second place in '95); and he has started in the top-ten in four of the five races he's run there. Castroneves has one top-ten finish and has led 20 laps in the two times he's raced through the streets of Vancouver.
TIM CINDRIC ON THE UPCOMING RACES
"We are looking forward to demonstrating the depth of Marlboro Team Penske down the stretch. We must really concentrate a day at a time and finish each of the six remaining races in the points. Obviously, this will require
the cars to be properly prepared each and every day, a smart driver behind the wheel, good pit stops and a little luck."
DRIVE AWAY HUNGER PROGRAM IN VANCOUVER
Each weekend the Drive Away Hunger Program donates food left over from the teams' hospitality units. This weekend the Drive Away Hunger Program headed up by Marlboro Team Penske and Newman Haas Racing will benefit the Quest Food Services in Vancouver. For more information, please contact Katherine Bennett at 310-274-7800.