… at Champ Car Worldseries Spring training
Red Bull PKV Racing's Neel Jani posted the third fastest time at Champ Car World Series Spring Training, March 9-10, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Meanwhile, teammate Tristan Gommendy, who signed with the team on Thursday and was in a Champ Car for just the second time, notched the 14th fastest lap of the 18 drivers posting times.
Jani, behind the wheel of the #21 Red Bull PKV Racing Cosworth/ Panoz/ Bridgestone machine, concluded the two-days of testing with a fast lap of 66.516 seconds (121.126 mph) on the 2.38-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca permanent road course. Gommendy's quick time in the #22 PKV Racing car came in at 68.325 seconds (117.919 mph)
In morning practice Jani ran by far the most laps of any driver, 71, as the Red Bull PKV Racing Team simulated a full two hour race. Despite focusing on the long run, Jani still managed the third fastest lap of the session turning a quick time of 66.606 seconds (120.962 mph) on lap 39. Gommendy, who made his Champ Car debut yesterday, worked with his crew until late yesterday evening adjusting the steering wheel, seat and pedal settings in preparation for his second day of testing.
The extra work paid off as Gommendy, who is still familiarizing himself with his new team and car, made significant progress during this morning's practice. Gommendy ran what proved to be his fastest lap of the day on the 23rd of 25 circuits he completed in the morning. The quick lap placed him 13th on the individual session report and initially moved him from 16th to 13th on the combined speed chart.
During the afternoon session Jani went back to working on his setup running just 35 laps, which enabled him to post the second fastest time of the session and what would prove to be the third fastest overall lap.
“In the morning our main target was to go a race distance, so I could get used to running a full race and saving fuel. That basically took up the whole morning,” Jani said. “We spent the afternoon working on some important things that we could not do at either Sebring or Houston.” Jani concluded by saying, “I am happy with the lap time we posted today.”
Gommendy experienced some problems during the afternoon and only turned four laps, but overall was pleased with his second day in a PKV Racing Champ Car.
“I think the PKV Racing Team did a good job today,” Gommendy said. “The new setup was much better for me. After today, I am much more comfortable in the car both physically and mentally. It is a good car. For sure I am disappointed that we are not quicker, but I know that we still have some work to do on the car and I still have a lot to learn.”
PKV Racing has been consistently fast in pre-season testing placing in the top three in all three open tests. In addition to posting the third fastest time at Spring Training the team captured the top two spots with Oriol Seriva placing first and Jani second at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, on January 23-25. At MSR in Houston, Texas, Feburary 12-13 Jani was again third fastest. The last three tests have all been in the new Champ Car Panoz DP01 chassis. The team also tested with Jani at MSR, using last year's chassis, in December.
Next up for PKV Racing is the 2007 Champ Car World Series season opening Las Vegas Grand Prix on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, April 6-8.
About PKV Racing
Founded in January 2003, Indianapolis-based PKV Racing (PK Racing was established in 2003 with a different ownership group) will contest its fifth season of competition during the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. PKV Racing is owned by successful venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven, who also co-owns the Champ Car World Series, and Dan Pettit, along with 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser.
The team has earned one victory, by Cristiano da Matta in Portland, and one pole, by Jimmy Vasser in Milwaukee both in 2005. PKV Racing will campaign two cars during the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. Neel Jani, a 23-yer-old native of Jens, Switzerland, will drive the #21 Red Bull PKV Racing Cosworth/Panoz/Bridgestone entry, while Tristan Gommendy, a 27-year-old Frenchman, who was recently announced as the team's second driver, will pilot the #22 PKV Racing machine.
For more information visit: www.pkvracing.com
– ChampCar –
11.03.2007 / MaP