RSPORTS completes test, ready for fun Upon completion of another successful testing run this month, the RSPORTS team and drivers Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson leave Mont-Tremblant satisfied and feel that they are prepared for the upcoming challenges as the 2007 Champ Car season truly gets underway in June.
During a private two-day test, RSPORTS joined six other Champ Car teams and ten drivers for some time on the challenging 15-turn course in the hills of the picturesque Laurentian Mountains. The testing began on Thursday afternoon, which saw the RSPORTS teammates sitting close together on the timing and scoring chart. Wilson posted a 1:18.61, while his stablemate Tagliani trailed closely behind him with a time of 1:18.98.
Both drivers were excited about the new venue. For Tagliani, it was a return to a home track as he had competed on this track in his early racing-career years. “It is a fun track to drive and it is really fast. I am just so excited to be racing here in a Champ Car, where the power and speed of these cars can truly be demonstrated. I think that this is going to be a very good race for the spectators and a challenging one for the drivers.”
Wilson commented, “It is a spectacular track. It is fast, it is fun, it is flowing and this place is not for the faint hearted! I am really looking forward to coming back here to race in July. It should be a great event for Champ Car and I think we will be able to put on a great show.”
Friday’s testing opportunity gave the teams a full day to run, which the RSPORTS team took full advantage of. Times continued to improve on the second day, seeing Wilson finish the day closely behind the 2006 Champ Car champion and current points leader Sebastien Bourdais with a time of 1:16.54. Tagliani, who spent a majority of the day trying out different car setups, posted his quickest time of 1:17.13.
“I am quite pleased with the test,” commented Wilson. “We made a lot of progress with the #9 CDW RSPORTS car. We did a lot of work, which paid off because we were able to find some gains in performance. At the end, I was fairly competitive, so that is a positive as we get ready to start racing again.”
“I am a little disappointed that on our second day of testing, we kind of rushed into things and I did not have a chance to do a good run on new tires,” said Tagliani. “But that is not necessarily a bad thing, as now we have a fresh new set of tires for the next test we run. Overall I am pleased that the two cars ran pretty good. We found some good things on Justin’s car at the end, so that was encouraging because those findings will be applied for our next race in Portland and for when we return to Mont-Tremblant. It is very exciting, this goes to show why it is so important to have a two-car team, because that allows us to test and try different things separately in order to find the best for both cars together.
Tagliani continued, “We made lots of changes on the #8 RSPORTS car throughout the test. We worked through the plan that we had developed for this test, focusing on all those little changes that we wanted to make on the car to see how it felt. We weren’t out there to run fast, qualifying laps, but to learn. So we were able to test a lot of the items that the team wanted to test and learn some more about the DP01, so it made for a pretty good learning experience.”
The RSPORTS team spent a lot of time during last week’s test learning the 2.65-mile track at Circuit Mont-Tremblant, future site of Round 6 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series. They focused on how to set up the race car in order to best handle the unique demands of the famed Canadian circuit. The team continued testing and validating the things they learned in the first three races of the season, while focusing on gaining an even better understanding of the DP01 demands.
The team began to develop their road course set up knowing that 8 of the 13 races left this season will be held on a road courses (that count includes the airport courses at Cleveland and Edmonton, which have similarities to that of a true road course). The crew practiced live pit stops, while both drivers participated in the standing start practices in anticipation of the Portland race.
“I think that we are in pretty good shape for the upcoming races; it is time to get serious now,” said Tagliani. “We have a lot of racing coming up in the next couple of months, but I think that this time off has allowed us to learn more about the car which will help us greatly for the remainder of the season. I think it should be an interesting and exciting time for the team in the months ahead.”
Wilson added, “I am really looking forward to the rest of the season, I think that we are in a good position to achieve better results in the upcoming races.”
The green flag for the Champ Car World Series will drop again on June 10 for Round 4 of the 2007 season in Portland Oregon, kicking off an exciting summer of open-wheel racing throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, and Mexico. RSPORTS PR