Ex-F1 Drivers Enjoy Champ Car Test

Champ Car earned accolades from a number of former F1 drivers, who were left impressed by what is on offer in the North American series, following tests at Sebring last week

Ex-F1 Drivers Enjoy Champ Car Test

The test session at Sebring saw Dutch Jos Verstappen, German Timo Glock and Swede Bjorn Wirdheim in action, all looking for a racing seat for 2005.

Verstappen, who has been out of action since he was dropped by Minardi at the end of 2003, completed a day's running for the HVM Racing team at Sebring and could be on the grid for the season-opener at Long Beach next month.

"I didn't shift gears for the last 12 years and now I have to do it again," the Dutchman told the Speed TV website. "There are no tyre warmers so you have to get used to cold tyres again. There is no traction control and the cars are heavier so everything is more difficult.

"But I think that's what a driver should do, control the wheel spin and drive the car, and I really like it. It makes things interesting again.

"It's the same cars, same engines, same class; that's what intrigues me. I mean if the team is doing a good job and you drive the car well, you're in for a win."

For Glock, who had been in the running for a race seat at Jordan this year before Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro came up with better sponsorship packages, the appeal of Champ Car racing is the fact that he would be in a position to win races.

"In Formula One you know exactly what you have, no chance to win the race, and you know your competition is your teammate so that was a little boring," said the German, who was fastest overall on the second day of the Sebring test.

"After my first test over here I called my dad and my mother and said: 'I know that I have a chance to win races or be on the podium because the cars are great to drive and you really have to drive them.'"

Wirdheim's try out of Champ Cars has come after some advice from compatriot Kenny Brack, who enjoyed success in both Champ Car racing and the Indy Racing League before a major accident left him on the sidelines.

"To be honest, a few months ago I asked Kenny Brack for some advice and he told me to get over to the United States," said Wirdheim, who was Jaguar's third driver last season. "I don't have a deal yet but I've enjoyed driving these cars and I hope I can put something together because I would like to race in Champ Car.

"Everybody has the same chassis and engine so it's more up to the team, the engineer and the driver. That's all a driver can ask for."

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