Testing Round Up – ACEMCO Saleen
Following on from yesterday’s quick run down of the three teams testing Pirellis at Sebring this week, Russell Wittenberg follows up with a more detailed look at the ACEMCO Saleen(s). Risi and Hyper Sport detail to follow.

The two brand new S7-Rs arrived at the track on Sunday. The build quality and appearance are absolutely first class. These two are the first ‘race cars’ to actually be built by Saleen at their facility at Irvine in California. The first generation of race cars were of course built by RML, in England. All improvements, updates etc. have been built into these cars.

The team is very optimistic about the times being set so early in the cars’ development, as they are really just being shaken down. For instance the gearing is way too high for this track, and the the shift cut is not activated. No real setup work had been done (by Wednesday): the drivers were just starting to get comfortable in the car. The car in use so far is running a first generation motor and they expect to be on the third (much improved) by Sebring. They have OZ wheels about to forge a new, custom set of wheels for the car which will be 10% lighter, and they’re expecting continued progress with the Pirelli tires by March. Another test with Pirelli is scheduled for the end of February.

Team owner Jeff Giangrande: “We are looking forward to competing against the Corvette: sort of a David and Goliath situation. We really hope Fredrick Dor or someone runs the Prodrive cars again. Moving up to GTS with the Saleen was definitely the right choice for us. Saleen has been wonderful so far. We are getting their full support, they have three engineers helping us here this week.”

General Notes
The teams are sharing the track with the Panoz Racing School, so there is no set schedule and they have fit in time between the school sessions. They have been getting about five 30 minute sessions in until 4.00pm, and then it is theirs until 6:00pm.

Interestingly Risi and ACEMCO are set up in the south paddock, between turn 1 and the start of the back straight. They do not use the pits or pitlane at all. They prefer this set up because they can come in hot off the front straight, right up to their respective trailers, and get a check of the tires before they start to cool down. The only incident was a puncture into turn one that got Jeff Giangrande’s attention, because Terry Borcheller was all the way into the grass before he was able to control it. No damage.

Jim Bell is present, seen here talking with Johnny Mowlem.

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