PKV Racing has good first day at Laguna Seca PKV Racing had a another strong testing session during today’s first day of Champ Car World Series Spring Training at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.
Driver Neel Jani, in the #21 Red Bull PKV Racing Cosworth/Panoz/Bridgestone car, concluded the first day third on the speed charts with a fast lap of 66.707 seconds (120.703 mph). Recently signed second driver Tristan Gommendy, in the #22 PKV Racing Cosworth/Panoz/Bridgestone entry, was 16th on the practice report with a time of 70.229 seconds (114.722 mph) on the historic 2.38-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca permanent road course. A total of 18 Champ Car drivers turned laps during the first day of testing.
In morning practice Jani ran 44 laps, the sixth most and topped the practice report with a time of 67.152 second (119.979 mph). Gommendy, who was making his debut in a Champ Car, spent much of the first session familiarizing himself with the car and the team, but still managed to log 34 laps with a best time of 70.887 seconds (113.657) placing him 16th on the practice report.
During the afternoon session both drivers improved their times. Jani ran another 36 laps, the fifth most in the afternoon, which tied him fifth most for the day. He posted his fast time on the last lap and sat on top of the speed charts when stopped with 20 minutes left in the session.
“The morning session was good for the Red Bull PKV Racing Team,” Jani began. “We tired a lot of things, but we had to be careful because we could only run a limited number of miles on the engine. With that in mind, we decided to go for quality over quantity with our work,” Jani explained. “In the afternoon session, it was the same thing. We made a lot of changes and tried a lot of different things. Our job tonight is to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, so we can put it all together tomorrow.”
Jani concluded by saying, “Overall, I am happy. This was my first time at Laguna Seca. I like the track. It has more up and down sections than I am used to, but it is much more like the European tracks I grew up on. The whole Red Bull PKV Racing Team did a great job today and I am looking forward to making more progress tomorrow.”
Gommendy ran 30 laps in the afternoon, giving him 64 for the day, the ninth fewest, as he continued to adjust to Champ Cars and work with his new team. His fast lap came on the 27th of the session and 61st overall.
“This was my first time in a Champ Car, so today was a day to learn about the car and get to know the team,” Gommendy said. “I really like the Champ Cars. They handle well and have plenty of power. The whole PKV Racing Team has made me feel very welcome and I am looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow and continue to learn.”