Sebastien Bourdais / Martin Plowman in Dale Coyne Racing Cars
Florida (February 1, 2011) -- Dale Coyne Racing ran their first test of the season on the short course of Sebring International Raceway. The Plainfield, Illinois based team is off to a strong start as it works toward it's plan for an exciting 2011 Indycar season.
In his first return to Indy Cars since winning a record setting 4th consecutive Championship in 2007, Sebastien Bourdais picked up right where he left off. During the one day test, the talented Frenchman ran the quickest laps of 2011 ahead of the eight other drivers that have tested there this year.
"The car was very good and it really felt good to be back in an Indy Car," reported Bourdais. "I was not sure what to expect, but I was impressed with the way the car handled, and look forward to putting together the pieces to get back into Indy Car racing. I really believe in what Dale is doing with his team and it can be a great opportunity for both of us this year."
Sebastien returned to the cockpit of an Indy Car after a three year sabbatical which saw him compete two years in Formula 1, as well as his current duties in the Intercontinental LeMans Cup. Sebastien Bourdais brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, as noted in his stellar record of 31 Champ Car wins.
"We have talked with Sebastien before and this is an opportunity that has great potential," reported team owner Dale Coyne. "We are very serious about moving our effort forward and this, coupled with the continuing Boy Scouts of America program from last season, is one of the most important steps we can possibly make."
Joining Bourdais on track Monday was Indy Lights standout Martin Plowman. Martin got his first taste of the powerful Indy car, where he posted an impressive 3rd best time of the 2011 drivers.
b^0x001cI was very happy with how my test went today. For me this day was 15 years in the making so it was exciting to finally get out there and drive an Indycar," Plowman stated. "I felt right at home with the team and my engineers. The car was very quick straight out of the box and we were right on pace after our first session. I'm really excited about the challenge ahead of me."
Martin has competed the past two years in Indy Lights. 2010 saw Martin take a convincing win at Mid-Ohio on his way to finishing 3rd in the Indy Lights Championship.
"We have tested a lot of new drivers over the years, and you generally know what you have on the first day," said Coyne.
"Martin is one of the best that we have seen and we look forward to a positive growth curve with this aspiring young talent."
Testing at Sebring was planned for one day. The team will spend February preparing for final plans and a full testing schedule in March before the first race of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 27th.
-source: dale coyne racint