Little under a week after announcing its formation, Team Stargate Worlds completed its first test of the Atlantic Championship season with drivers Frankie Muniz and Simona de Silvestro at the wheel at the team's home track, Buttonwillow Raceway.
The 1.374-mile road course afforded a full day's running, as well as an opportunity for both drivers to get acquainted to their new team surroundings, as Muniz and de Silvestro hit the track for the first time since the last race of 2008. Though the threat of rain continually loomed over the track, the conditions remained dry, and the pair completed just over 400 miles between them.
The outing also marked the first time that both drivers could work with their respective race engineers on track, with Gerald Tyler and Burke Harrison taking charge of Muniz and de Silvestro accordingly, and both groups emerged satisfied with what had been accomplished during the day.
"I'm very happy with how the day went," third year driver Muniz commented, "We were very productive and we got to run a lot of miles, which dusted off the cobwebs. I also got to work with my new engineer Gerald Tyler, which was great. I'm confident that we'll have a very good year just based on what we've learned thus far."
While Muniz remains with the team, having raced with US RaceTronics in 2008, de Silvestro moves over from Newman Wachs Racing for her third year in Atlantics, and engineer Harrison was keen to establish a solid working relationship with her before chasing performance.
"What I really wanted to work on was the communication aspect with Simona, and we made good inroads on that," he confirmed, "There were also a few test items we wanted to complete as well, which we managed to do. The track conditions were not that great, but I believe we managed to make great progress."
Both Tyler and Harrison have a long history in Atlantics that stretches back to the 2002 championship where, along with US RaceTronics/Stargate Worlds team principal Shane Seneviratne, Dorricott Racing won the 2002 title in dominating fashion with Jon Fogarty. Tyler and Harrison then followed that success by winning the championship again the following year with RuSPORT and AJ Allmendinger.
"It was the first time working with the team and I have to say it's a great team," Tyler commented, "Shane and Imran [Safiulla] have a great team here and it was great working with them and I'm looking forward to working with them this year."
The team will regroup next week for the series-sanctioned test at Palm Beach International Raceway on over 10-11 March.