Feature Article

Warming up at Nazareth
Mark Cipolloni
March 14,  2000

Note:  This article was originally printed on 7th Gear.com when I worked with those fine folks

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On a cool March day in northeast Pennsylvania, where getting heat in the tires was difficult, Kenny Brack, Gil deFerran and Juan Montoya got in some last minute testing prior to the start of the season.  Max Papis, Jimmy Vasser, and Helio Castro-Neves were also on hand, but none of them got any track time today.  Montoya spent most of yesterday and a good part of today waiting for a part to be shipped in.  Yesterday he broke something in the drive train after only 9 laps.

The drivers were having a hard time with grip due to the cool temperatures and green track.  It was just too cold in the morning to run any serious laps, but by midday deFerran and Brack started to test the waters.  Each time they would run about ten laps, and then return to their pit.  It was definitely a one groove track today.

The Ganassi, Rahal, and Penske teams were all very secretive, keeping their cars under wraps at all times.  However, since this was a closed test, we thank the teams for letting the press into the track, even if only for a short while.  The Penske team asked that absolutely no pictures be taken of their cars after lunch, either in the pits or on the track.  They were experimenting with some new pieces we assume.  The teams each had their transporter parked on pit road (as is typical for testing) and the cars were under their canopy and away from prying eyes.

Lap times were not readily available.  The few laps we did our own timing saw the drivers in the low to mid 20 second range.

All photos copyright 2000 Mark Cipolloni, except as noted.  Click on the images for larger picture.

Aerial view of Nazareth Speedway before the new grandstands were constructed. Click on any image to see a larger picture.
Kenny Brack heads into his pit.  He and Papis are sharing the Miller car for this test.
Photo courtesy of Phil Larsen
Gil pounds out the test laps
Brack blasts out of pits on warm-up lane.  This picture gives us our first glimpse at the profile of the short oval Handford Device.  Notice the contour of the wing vs. what we saw at Homestead for Spring Training.
Brack dives for turn 2, learning his way around the tricky 1-mile oval.
Brack enters pit road at a leisurely pace

The many faces of Kenny Brack
The Marlboro boys meet the press.  Both drivers said they were honored to be wearing the Marlboro colors, made so popular in Brazil by the late Ayrton Senna and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Gil deFerran heads down pit road
Gil dives for turn 2
Gil pulls out of pits.  Nazareth is close to the Penske Teams shop in Reading, PA.
The Marlboro car gets a push start.  What is that hanging off the back of the sidepod near the inside of the left rear wheel?
Juan jokes with the press.  He definitely appears more comfortable in front of the cameras this year.
deFerran on short straight between turn 1 and 2
Gil, Helio and Juan meet the press
Gil dives for his pit stall in front of the empty grandstands at Nazareth
Testing can be lonely on a cool March day at Nazareth as Brack accelerates hard out of turn 1

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