First Champcar test for Junqueira and Minassian

Bruno Junqueira and Nicolas Minassian had their first taste of Champcar power at a test at Nazareth this week

First Champcar test for Junqueira and Minassian

The pair, who are taking over from Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser at Ganassi Racing, were also having their first experiences on an oval.

Junqueira, this year's FIA F3000 series champion, was pleased with his first oval outing.

"Being on an oval was very different," said the Brazilian, "but very good and it was exciting. I appreciate the feedback I get from the team. It is only going to help me learn." The rookies shared a car, covering almost 200 miles on their first day.

Minassian, F3000 runner-up, also enjoyed the experience.
"Being out here today was a great start," said the Frenchman. "It's a different kind of track -- very challenging. I look forward to getting back out there and learning more.

"What I really like about the Target team is that they love a challenge. They have had 'rookie' winners in Zanardi and Montoya for a few years, so they must teach well. To be with them is a big honour for me, I'm very proud, and I'm very excited. I've been looking for a drive like this for ages, and now I've got what I wanted."

Weather conditions were far from perfect with low temperatures and gusting winds. "Nazareth is a tough track no matter what the conditions are," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "But what a great place for these guys to learn -- and they're doing great so far," No times were released but it is believed that they were both in the 20-21s bracket on the one mile oval, about 1.5s off the pace.

Testing is due to continue on Thursday.

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