Daniel Erickson news 2009-12-03

Rain-delayed USA Star Mazda test produces encouraging early results Daniel Erickson made an encouraging start to his rain-delayed test with the Mundill USA Star Mazda team at MSR Houston Raceway in Texas today. With Tuesday's planned first day...

Rain-delayed USA Star Mazda test produces encouraging early results

Daniel Erickson made an encouraging start to his rain-delayed test with the Mundill USA Star Mazda team at MSR Houston Raceway in Texas today.

With Tuesday's planned first day all but washed out, the young Australian worked down to respectable lap times during almost 80 laps around the 3.38km road circuit in Mundill's 2009-spec chassis. In chilly but dry conditions on the unfamiliar circuit, his best lap on a set of used Goodyear tyres was within a second of Mundill's unofficial testing record, with "plenty more to come".

The test is Daniel's first experience of a 'wings and slicks' openwheeler after three successful seasons in Formula Ford. Consequently he spent much of the day acclimatising to the rotary-engined Star Mazda's extra power, gears and traction.

The biggest challenge, according to Daniel, was exploring the limits of adhesion in a car equipped with aerodynamic aids. Unlike a Formula Ford, which relies purely on mechanical (ie. tyre) grip that decreases with cornering speed, the Star Mazda's inverted wings increase the traction as cornering speeds increase.

This was apparent on MSR Houston's faster corners, like the daunting 195-degree Carousel and the flat-in-sixth gear righthand sweeper at the end of the back straight.

Daniel is scheduled to complete the test on Thursday morning Texas time (Friday lunchtime AEDT) before flying home to Sydney.

-credit: dePR

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Daniel Erickson