Lawson Aschenbach with the Lola B2K00 Forsythe Champ Car (Buddy Pritchett photo).
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
"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
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
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