ASCAR: Wet weather test report

ASCAR wet weather test a storming success. ASCAR action guaranteed at Rockingham - even if it rains. The `Days of Thunder'-style ASCAR motor racing series will be able to race at the Rockingham circuit even if it rains during the remainder of...

ASCAR wet weather test a storming success.
ASCAR action guaranteed at Rockingham - even if it rains.

The `Days of Thunder'-style ASCAR motor racing series will be able to race at the Rockingham circuit even if it rains during the remainder of the ASCAR season.

ASCAR completed a successful wet weather test at the Northamptonshire track on Wednesday during which Nicolas Minassian, Colin White and Kelvin Burt tried specially-prepared wet weather Goodyear tyres on the Rockingham Link road circuit.

Following the test, drivers, team owners and ASCAR organisers agreed that it was "all systems go" to race the cars on the road course which is also used for the supporting events during ASCAR race weekends.

"ASCAR fans can now look forward to the spectacle of racing at Rockingham throughout the remainder of the season whatever the weather," said Bob Berridge, chief executive of Oval Racing Management. "A few people were sceptical when we started these tests - in America the conventional wisdom was that it wouldn't work.

"Our surface has an advantage over its American oval racing counterparts because of the type of asphalt used. Goodyear have been brilliant, creating a special wet tyre for us, and they worked perfectly on the more open compound of Rockingham asphalt, creating plenty of grip."

"It was a lot of fun - the ASCAR cars are a real challenge," said former Champ Car star Nicolas Minassian. "There are plenty of overtaking opportunities around the circuit. The wet weather tyre we used is also a good tyre - it had good grip. I think this is definitely the way forward."

The Frenchman's team-mate Kelvin Burt was in agreement. "It was easy enough to drive," said the Ray Mallock Ltd driver. "The only problems we had were the screen misting up and water coming up through the floor. Apart from that it was good - it didn't feel much different from racing in the dry."

British Touring Car champion Jason Plato and BAR F1 test driver Darren Manning were also on hand at the test with the Bintcliffe Sport team. "I think it'll be fine," said Plato of the wet-weather race plan. "It's got to be good for the sport. It means we'll be going racing and giving the fans what they want. It will be great fun."

Manning said: "To be able to race in the wet must be great for the spectators. We're all in favour of it. No one likes being sat in the pits when you want to go out and race."

The ASCAR rounds at EuroSpeedway Lausitz on May 26 and the last Rockingham round on June 4 had to be called off because of persistent rain, but will now be placed during the remaining ASCAR fixtures, beginning with an extra round at the Bank Holiday weekend ASCAR meeting on August 24/25.

-ascar-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Nicolas Minassian , Colin White , Jason Plato , Kelvin Burt , Ray Mallock