8Star Tests at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway The 8Star Motorsports Rolex GRAND-AM Series Daytona Prototype teams wrapped up two days of testing today at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla., in preparation for the July 26 Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway and the balance of the 2013 season.
Drivers Michael Valiante and Emilio DiGuida were joined by Sebastien Bourdais, whom 8Star announced July 17 as the co-driver with DiGuida in the No. 4 Corvette DP for the balance of the 2013 season.
“We continue to develop the Corvette DP and are getting quicker and quicker,” said Valiante, who shares driving duties in the No. 3 Corvette DP with Stephane Sarrazin and 8Star team owner Enzo Potolicchio. “It’s great to have Sebastien join the team. This was my first time at Palm Beach but it didn’t take too long to get up to speed. It seems like a great test track … it’s close to the 8Star race shop so it’s convenient for everybody to get here.”
The Brickyard Grand Prix will be the second race for 8Star’s No. 4 team after debuting June 29 in the six-hour endurance race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. DiGuida and Luis Diaz drove to an 11th-place finish.
“The DP car feels like a DP but every car is a little different so I’m just trying to get a feel for what the Corvette DP requires,” said Bourdais. “Overall, we made improvements so I’m happy. We found some mechanical grip which should translate pretty well to Indy because it’s a low-grip track so I’m pretty happy. The team is still in the discovery of the car so we’re still trying to investigate what’s best, what works and what doesn’t.
8Star race engineer Yves Touron, who has a long history at the Brickyard in the IndyCar Series, was pleased with the progress made in further developing the two-car program.
“We did a lot of things over the past two days so it was a pretty good test,” said Touron. “All the drivers were able to put in a lot of laps so we learned a lot. Now it’s just a matter of picking what we feel will work best for Indy. Going back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the 8Star DP team will be different because it will be my first time on the road course. It will be strange not running the oval but I’m really looking forward to it so we’ll just see what happens.
Green flag for the Brickyard Grand Prix is 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time and will be broadcast on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
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