| Pre-Season Testing
07 MAR 03
ATI Performance Racing left behind 30 inches of snow in Baltimore, MD and headed south to USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL for a pre-season testing session. JC and the guys tested four cars including two Hamke cars from last year along with one new Hamke car and one new Howe car. The biggest challenge during the three-day session was the new BFGoodrich tire for the 2003 season.
"The tire is softer, wears out quicker, but is not faster than last years tires, commented Beattie Jr. We couldn't run that many laps before we were fighting worn out tires."
The new Hamke and Howe cars worked well and responded positively to the changes that were made. However, the new Hamke car will need more adjusting but is not scheduled to run until later in the season. Bob Cumbow and Chas Howe did a great job with the new Howe car as it ran strong all week. Rick Beebe tested his Howe car for one of the days which also provided helpful information to the ATI Team. In addition, a Competition Data System was used in conjunction with the new Howe car and recorded valuable on track information. ATI Performance Racing plans to gather crucial data from the CDS during testing sessions.
Last years Hamke cars performed solid and were familiar to the team while Fred Roempler and Jim Beattie made adjustments as needed during the session. All four cars were running within two tenths of each other by the third day of testing.
In all, the three testing days in Lakeland, FL were a great pre-season
warm-up for the entire team. Now it is back to the shop to make the final
changes before the season opener at Lakeland on March 22, 2003.