CART to test aero modifications at Michigan

CART will stage a special test at Michigan International Speedway on June 12 to evaluate means of slowing the cars for the two superspeedway races on the Champ Car calendar

CART to test aero modifications at Michigan

Gil de Ferran set a world closed course speed record when he turned a lap of 241.428 mph in qualifying at California Speedway last November. CART reduced turbo boost from 40 inches to 37 inches for the 2001 season, but the five drivers on hand at MIS next week will test an additional boost reduction to 36 inches.

In addition, CART is expected to evaluate several variations of the Handford Device, a low-downforce, high-drag rear wing introduced for the 1998 superspeedway races. The Handford Device has created closer racing on the big ovals, but many drivers believe the huge draft effect and turbulence it creates actually produces more danger for the pilots.

"The on-track activity from this test will verify the results of testing by teams and manufacturers to contain the race car's performance in the best interest of our drivers and the sport," said Kirk Russell, CART vice president of competition. "The test will allow us to receive valuable input from the drivers on the changes and evaluate if any further changes will be warranted. We greatly appreciate the co-operation of the teams and their drivers for this special test."

The chief aero modification being tested is an additional three-inch downward extension of the backplate of the Handford Device, increasing it to nine inches in length. Additional trim tabs or wickers on the side endplates of the wing are expected to be checked as well.

CART also will mandate that all FedEx Championship Series teams terminate all bodywork and aerodynamic devices 11 inches aft of the differential centreline, the lone exception being the rear wing. This change will remain in effect for the remainder of the season in an effort to limit specific development in this area that could potentially reduce drag and/or improve rear-wing efficiency.

The five drivers testing the revised aero set-up at Michigan include de Ferran, Dario Franchitti, Max Papis, Christian Fittipaldi and Bryan Herta.

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