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Perera gunning for Champ Car drive

Franck Perera has set his sights on a Champ Car drive with Forsythe/Pettit Racing, following his successful first Champ Car test at MSR Houston last week.

The Frenchman, who finished second in the Champ Car Atlantic series in his rookie season, has a holding deal with the newly-named team.

That means team-owners Jerry Forsythe and Dan Pettit have the option of either making him teammate to 2003 champion Paul Tracy, or slotting him into their Forsythe/Pettit Atlantic squad.

However, Perera himself made his target clear when he said: "The Atlantic Cars are great but being in Champ Car is why I came from Europe to America to race."

Perera, who has tested for the Toyota Formula One team in the past, stated: "It was really fun to be in a fast car again like the F1 and to help [team Technical Director] Tom Brown and all the engineers prepare the car for next season."

Perera's fastest lap of the 2.38-mile road course was 1:10.44, comparing very favourably to Will Power's fastest lap there for Team Australia last February, when he set a time of 1:10.04.

"I want to thank the entire team for everything," said Perera, "especially Mr Forsythe and Mr Pettit for giving me this chance. I was glad to show that I was very competitive compared to previous test times here.

"I wanted to go even faster for sure, but in the end the team was here to test the car and I stuck to the plan."

Brown, who oversaw the test was impressed. He said: "Over the two days running we laid out some very stringent tests and performance requirements for Franck. Running flawlessly both days, it was extremely encouraging that he met and exceeded each requirement set for him.

"Franck is a consummate professional with a rare touch and feel for the car."

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