HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 30, 2006) – Reigning SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Champion Lawson Aschenbach was invited to test a Champ Car this week with the Forsythe team at MSR Houston.-30-
Stepping into an open-wheel car for the first time since his Formula BMW days in 2004, Aschenbach turned 60 laps around the 2.38-mile road course. The test was one of the final outings in the Lola B2K00 before Champ Car teams switch over to the new Panoz DP01 chassis.
“That was an amazing experience,” Aschenbach said. “These cars are just incredible, they handle like a dream! It takes a while to get used to it, especially the braking power that you have at your disposal. Also, I had never driven a car with downforce, so that took some getting used to. Basically the faster you go the more grip you have. You get to a point in a corner when you think you are at the limit and then you go faster and the car just gets better and better.”
Aschenbach approached the test not so much as an audition, but as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I had set some goals for myself before the test,” Aschenbach added. “Basically, I just wanted to make sure I kept it on the track and that I got up to speed in a safe manner. At the end I gave it all I had and with our last set of new tires I was getting pretty tired. More than anything, this experience really opened up my eyes to how fit you have to be to race in Champ Car. It was a lot more physical than I expected.”
The test was not the first time Aschenbach has driven for Forsythe. In 2002, he raced under the Forsythe banner in the F2000 series. Aschenbach has kept in touch with team owner Jerry Forsythe in the mean time and didn’t need to be asked twice when he got the phone call to test in Houston.
“I have to thank the Forsythe Team for giving me this amazing opportunity,” Aschenbach concluded. “They gave me a great car and everybody just made my job so easy. I really appreciate it.”
But the question remains, has SPEED World Challenge lost its reigning SPEED GT Champion to Champ Car? Fear not fans, Aschenbach is confident he’ll be back to defend his crown in 2007.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=732