Viso and Battistini complete 2-Day Minardi testUPDATE Below are photos from the recent test courtesy of Champ Car:
12/04/07 [Editor's Note: Although the fans want to see lap times Champ Car and its teams continue to not publish them as if there was some sort of secret. But who cares about the customers, right?]
Minardi Team USA wrapped up two days of testing with Venezuelan Ernesto Viso and Englishman Dillon Battistini today at Sebring International Raceway in sunny Florida. The pair completed nearly 300 miles each around the 1.669 mile road course, which is the sight of the first Series test in early February 2008.
The temperatures were very mild, and made for good testing conditions; not too hot, not too cold, and both drivers came to grips with the DP01 very quickly. Monday started out with systems checks and the drivers acclimatizing themselves to the cars. For Ernesto, there was no adjustment to the paddle-shift gearbox, as GP2 cars utilize the same technology, but for Dillon, it was a whole new procedure. Both drivers spent the necessary time getting comfortable, and the remainder of the time on Monday was used getting the drivers up to speed.
Tuesday was spent working with engineers and trying to find a fitting setup for each driver. More seat time allowed both drivers to find additional speed on the second day, and both ended up with very competitive times.
Both drivers will head back to their homes for the holidays, and they both hope to be back in Sebring for the first Champ Car test February 2-4 next year. Minardi Team USA will head back to the workshop in Indianapolis to continue preparing for the fast-approaching New Year and the 2008 season.
Ernesto Viso: “I am very happy with the two days of testing with Minardi Team USA, and I feel we had a very productive test. I got to know the car, and I gained a better understanding of the behavior of this chassis. It is different from what I am used to, but I figured it out pretty quickly. I think we turned some competitive lap times and I believe even faster than in the previous tests. We worked on a lot of set-up changes, and I hope my feedback has helped the engineers.”
Dillon Battistini: “The test went very well for me. Jumping into this car straight away after F3 is a substantial jump, but considering, I am quite happy with what we achieved in such a short amount of time. Things went as well as I could have ever hoped for. The team is wonderful, all the guys were great, and I learned a lot from everyone. We made a lot of progress developing the car, we worked through our program, and I’m pleased to have helped in that way. The car was great! The amount of power it has is fantastic, but very manageable. Hopefully this test has given my backers the confidence to allow me to be in Champ Car full-time in 2008 and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Keith Wiggins: “It was a productive test for Minardi Team USA. Ernesto turned some very competitive times over the course of the two days. He worked very well with all the crew, and we were all very impressed with his on and off-track conduct. I was also impressed with Dillon with his professional approach and feedback. It was more of a jump for him from F3 but he definitely proved that with enough time in the car he’ll be a good addition to the Champ Car World Series.”
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