Hilliard, Ohio - Bryan Herta and the Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Team participated in a special CART test at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday. Behind the wheel of the ...
Hilliard, Ohio - Bryan Herta and the Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Team participated in a special CART test at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday. Behind the wheel of the #77 Zakspeed/Forsythe/Ford-Cosworth, Herta was one of five Champ Car drivers who tested the superspeedway engine and aerodynamic changes that have been mandated for performance containment in the FedEx Championship Series, in preparation for the Michigan 500 which is scheduled for July 22nd and the CART season finale at the California Superspeedway set for November 4th.
Herta logged 81miles at the speedway on Tuesday, with a significantly reduced top speed of 219.727mph. "It was good for us to help CART evaluate the new rule package and I am glad we were able to pass our feelings on to CART and am looking forward to returning here in July," said Herta. "The track is still a little off from the NASCAR race last weekend, so it's a tough for the team to evaluate exactly where we are at, but the speeds will increase a bit come race time."
Morning storms delayed the test, which finally got under way at 11:30 am. Team Manager Steve Dickson commented, "It was an interesting day, we know what we need to work on for the superspeedway events, and it was a good opportunity for Bryan to get a feel of the car with the new package."
The changes consist of a superspeedway engine alteration that will involve reducing the maximum manifold pressure (boost) from the current 37 inches to 36 inches in an effort to contain power output. The aerodynamic alterations include a three-inch downward extension to the backplate (increasing the total length to nine inches) on the Handford Mk1 device, which is located on the rear wing. The aero changes will result in the reduction of downforce, creating more drag, and reducing speeds.
Herta continued, "Obviously, the changes are very noticeable, we have slowed down quite a bit. It is important to test these changes before they are enforced, and we accomplished that today." "The test was a good experience for Bryan and the team. As always, the fans are going to get a terrific show at Michigan no matter what we do to these cars," said Chief Engineer Lee Dykstra.
Herta and the Zakspeed/Forsythe crew will turn their focus to the temporary street course at Belle Isle, in preparation for this weekend's Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit, round seven of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. Watch Herta make his 106th Champ Car start Sunday at Belle Isle, live at 2 PM EST on ABC-TV.