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uploaded 2/13/2000

2000 CART Spring Training

CART Spring Training started with a media day on Tuesday, Feb. 8. Track session began the next day. On Tuesday, while the PR people hustled their drivers from photo shoot to interview to press conference, the technical guys fretted about how the cars would stack up on track the next day.

I've been to this event every year (since '94?) and there was more tension among the technical guys than ever before. The best funded teams have done a lot of testing but not all on the same track on the same day as they do during Spring Training.

Spring Training Buzz: Some photos and comments.

Spring Training Tech Stuff: More Photos and blather.


Several Reasons for a Tight Points Race

I think three separate situations will act together to even up the field this season and make an even more compititive race series. Firestone is the only tire supplier meaning fewer brand new tires, less drastic changes in tires race to race, and fewer tire surprises for the teams. One would think Firestone would develop tires more conservatively now that they are the only supplier. This means the teams have fewer complications and they shouldn't get caught out on unfamiliar tires as happened often the last few years. Maybe this will also lessen the advantage of the teams doing most of the tire testing.

The second facor that will even the field is all the teams are using Ohlins dampers except Team Rahal where Tom Janocek (spelling?) builds dampers using parts he gets from Penske Racing Shocks. The Ohlins TT-44 is almost infinately adjustable, but some teams have been using them for several years. Another area of decreasing complication.

Finally, CART rules are relatively mature and the teams know the tracks and setups. Like I said, I think this will be a very compititive season. Ganassi has won the championship four years in a row for the combination of Reynard chassis, Honda engine, and Firestone tires. This year they will compete with a Lola chassis, Toyota engine, and the same tires as everyone else.







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