James Winslow earned positive reviews after making his Champ Car debut with the Conquest Racing team in testing at Sebring with the Briton now working on securing a ride in the series for 2008.
A race winner in both the Australian F3 and Formula V6 Asia championships this season, Winslow joined the Conquest for his first run in the 900bhp Panoz DP01 – allowing the Indianapolis-based team to take a close look at his ability behind the wheel.
Having spent the opening day finding his way around the car and learning the Sebring airfield, Winslow was able to raise his game on day two, picking up pace and impressing the team as he made the jump from a 200bhp F3 car with just three weekends of Formula V6 Asia power to bridge the gap.
Three-time series champion Sebastien Bourdais – heading for Formula One in 2008 – topped the times on day one, with reigning rookie of the year, and two-time 2007 racewinner, Will Power heading the group on day two.
“Obviously, this was a very big step for me,” Winslow admitted, “but I'm very pleased with the outcome as I improved with every session. Compared with others I have driven, the car was a real beast to drive, but it was great fun, although a little more physical than perhaps I was expecting.
“It was great to run at Sebring too. It is notoriously hard on man and machine, and a real challenge at 180mph, but it's a good venue for the teams to prepare for Surfers because it is so bumpy and as close to a street circuit as you can get for testing.”
Winslow will join the Conquest team at the two remaining Champ Car races this season – at Surfers Paradise and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – and is hoping that the two parties can move towards working together in the future.
“Joining Conquest at Surfers will give me a chance to really get a feel for Champ Car and learn about the strategies and fuel-saving tactics involved in being successful,” he said, “It's a great opportunity to get a sneak preview of where I'd like to be in 2008.”