Sunday, October 7, 2007

Champ Car Chatter

While Champ Car is in the midst of another extremely long hiatus, having been out of sight of the majority of US house holds for nearly two months now…

Champ Car held its final 2007 season test at Sebring, (9/25-26) with Conquest, Dale Coyne, Forsythe, N/H/L, PCM and PKV taking part in the two day test session. New recruit Martinez got acclimated to the cockpit of Forsythe’s second Panoz DP 01 chassis, previously driven by Oriel Servia.

And the weirdest part of the testing was that Forsythe asked Servia to test for them on the first day, with Servia being the fastest of the three Forsythe drivers after being previously given his walking papers.

Dominguez re-sumed driving with Pacific Coast Motorsports, whom he’d previously driven for during Ryan Dalziel’s forced absence from the San Jose race after a bicycling accident.

And I suppose it will come as NO surprise that on Day 1 the “Hamburgular” (Bourdais) topped the time sheets.

Day 2 saw Sea Bass drop down the order due to having used up all of his allotted testing miles the previous day. This saw Will Power take over the top spot as well as “Christian Comedy” nipping at his heels…

Sebring Champ Car testing times – Day 2:

1) Will Power, Team Australia, 51.51
2) Tristan Gommendy, PKV, 51.53
3) Mario Dominguez, Pacific Coast Motorsports, 51.55
4) Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia, 51.71
5) Alex Figge, Pacific Coast Motorsports, 51.73
6) Paul Tracy, Forsythe, 51.79
7) Graham Rahal, Newman/Haas/Lanigan, 51.82
8) David Martinez, Forsythe, 51.91
9) Neel Jani, PKV, 52.04
10) Bruno Junqueira, Dale Coyne, 52.30
11) Katherine Legge, Dale Coyne, 52.58
12) James Winslow, Conquest, 53.65

And in another incredulous slight of hand, Conquest Racing has given Jan “Van Hagar” Heylen the unexpected BOOT! In order to make room for Nelson Philippe… Yeah I can hear y’all saying’ Nelson Who? As perhaps many of you have forgotten that the Frenchman is Champ cars current youngest ever winner, apparently being recalled “just-in-time” to defend his last year victory at Surfers Paradise.

“Van Hagar” is the third current Champ Car driver getting an extremely RAW deal! Joining the likes of Servia and Dalziel, who’ve also been shown the door for less than honorable reasons…

But Heylen’s dumping is extremely poor seeing how he brought desperately needed funding to Eric Bachelart’s team that was on life support at the beginning of the year. Then Heylen has done nothing but improve each week after his Portland debut, with a 6th place finish at Road America and runner-up behind Justin Wilson at Assen TT…

And I’ve also seen rumours of Wilson possibly defecting to Andretti Green Racing next season along with major sponsor CDW saying NO Thanks to continuing in Champ Car!

Meanwhile Paul “Sand Dune” Tracy was busy thrashin’ about the mud bogs of Chula Vista in an Off Road Trophy Truck curtsey of Ricky Johnson. Well at least one of Champ Car’s driver’s is enjoying his holiday!