Test two in the books for PCM Rookies Pacific Coast Motorsports wrapped the second of three series tests on Tuesday with the team completing over 300 miles over two days at MSR Houston in Angleton, Texas.
As a new team, with rookie drivers and a new car, track time is precious for the California crew and that precious track time was reduced on Monday as torrential rains and high winds swept through the Motorsports Ranch. The PCM team led by director Tyler Tadevic, team manager Michael Harvey and crew chief Roy Wilkerson made the best of a wet situation; they sent their rookie drivers Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel out on the soggy and demanding track, in effort to garner experience in less than ideal conditions. Team manager Michael Harvey commented, “the first day we did some productive running in very tricky conditions and comparably speaking, we were very competitive. While we have two rookies, their experience prevailed and they did a fantastic job despite the conditions.”
The skies cleared on Tuesday and the PCM team completed their first full day of running the new Panoz chassis. The team completed very few miles over the three days at Sebring due to teething problems with the new car. The various manufacturers worked hard to fix the issues, which allowed the PCM team to get a full day in on Tuesday. Harvey continued, “both Alex and Ryan had a productive morning Tuesday. As a new team, we are developing together; I believe we made large strides in learning the behaviors of the new car. Unfortunately we had a few issues with Alex’s car in the afternoon, which, combined with the timing of the multiple red flags on the track limited his opportunity to get any fruitful running. As a team, we still made headway nonetheless. Both drivers practiced standing starts without any hiccups. In addition to both Alex and Ryan being very physically prepared, their feedback was excellent and we look forward to the next test.”
Alex Figge: “The car is good in the rain, it has tons of grip. I’m sure there will be occasions this season where the rain testing will be beneficial. Unfortunately, though we didn’t get the track time with my car that we needed, we hardly ran Tuesday afternoon once the track was dry and that is pretty frustrating. We still learned some things, we ran in the rain and we practiced the standing starts, so we do have some valuable information and experience to take with us. The standing starts are going to be interesting when you line-up 20 cars. It will be great for the fans and I am looking forward to it. We still have another test coming up next month at Laguna, my goal will be to log as many miles as possible.”
Ryan Dalziel: “I am pretty happy with the test, we made a lot of progress and I am thankful to have logged some miles in the new car. We got through a fair amount of our test plan despite the inclement weather and the car ran flawless both days, which was a big difference from Sebring. Both Alex and I tested the old car at Houston and the new car has a lot more grip, it is definitely going to be a much quicker car. MSR is a very physically demanding track, it is actually tougher in the new car, but both the Lola and the Panoz are the similar as far as knowing what you need to get the most of out of the track. I can’t share that information, but I can say the paddle shifting system is good, a driver can play with the gears in the middle of the corner more as they don’t have to take their hands off of the wheel to use a lever. It was great to do a standing start again. Coming from Europe, most of my experience is with the standing start and I am happy to be back to that. The new car is so bloody fast off the line, it is going to be a blast! I can’t wait for our first standing start at the Vegas Grand Prix!” PCM PR