Homestead, Fla. - Target Chip Ganassi Racing rookies Bruno Junqueira and Nicolas Minassian tested alongside top FedEx Series drivers Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. Both drivers enjoyed perfect racing weather...
Homestead, Fla. - Target Chip Ganassi Racing rookies Bruno Junqueira and Nicolas Minassian tested alongside top FedEx Series drivers Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. Both drivers enjoyed perfect racing weather and put more than 400 miles on the team's 2001 Toyota-Lolas.
Junqueira and Minassian's FedEx Series education continued with practice, qualifying and race simulation at the 1.5-mile oval, as well as live pit stop practice. "These drivers continue to make tremendous progress," said Team Target managing director Mike Hull. "This testing session was a great benchmark to see how our drivers compared to some of the best drivers in the CART FedEx series. We were able to hold our own with the likes of (defending champion) Gil de Ferran, Christian Fittipaldi and Dario Franchitti. I think our drivers' improvement really speaks to their ability and the support from everyone associated with Target Chip Ganassi Racing." Junqueira logged 175 miles on the first day of testing while working team engineers Bill Pappas and Julian Robertson to prepare the Lola/Toyota/Firestone package for the 22-race series. "This was an exciting test, " said Junqueira, the 2000 European Formula 3000 champion. "We're really getting great results from our set up and my times are getting faster. It was such a great feeling to be running with other drivers on the track. I can't wait to start competing against these guys during the season."
Minassian took over on the second day of testing, running 275 miles while giving the engineers valuable feedback about the car's oval performance. "The race simulations have been paying off, and I think both Bruno and I are showing what we can do," said Minassian, who finished second to his new teammate during last year's F3000 Series. "There's always room for improvement, but I was happy the car and my driving. I was able to run with the lead group, and that's very encouraging."