Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Champ Car refuges hit Sebring

Today was the first test for former Champ Car teams with their new IRL-mounts. Six newly appointed IRL drivers took to the Sebring short-course and logged a total of 276 laps.

Conveniently, the IRL-regulars happened to test Sebring about two-weeks ago, leaving the door wide open for silly comparisons and other premature conclusions to be drawn concerning any of the following:

  • The ability of ex-Champ Car teams to adapt to a new engine/chassis combo.
  • Which squad has employed a driver able to adapt quickly to a new car?
  • Which IRL team(s) posted slower lap times than Champ Car squads who have had less than a month to prep a full-blown IRL program?
  • How slow is Milka Duno, really?
  • Did Newman/Haas/Lanigan just skip the test to polish up their NCAA brackets?

Feel free to deduce your own answers to the above questions. Here are the official times:

Sebring Open Test - Round 1 -3/6/08 (combined results for Indy Car regulars)

Sebring Open Test - Round 2- 3/19/08 (Champ Car ex-pats)

For those too lazy to open both files for comparison (lets face it, I would be):

Will Power had the fastest time among the IRL newbies (52.9685; 113.501 mph). That would place him fifth among the regulars. Milka Duno was two-seconds slower than her nearest IRL colleague. (She did log a quicker time than Conquest's Enrique Bernoldi, but he only managed four laps today).

Ex-Champ Car teams get one more test day at Sebring, followed by two on the Homestead oval, then the season opener. Word on the street is Newman/Haas/Lanigan will make up for lost testing time by shaking their cars down at an SCCA autocross on the South Side of Chicago. Dude, your prepped 240Z is fucked.

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