French driver Max Lefevre has joined Condor Motorsports for the next season's Cooper Tires-backed Atlantic Championship following a strong test at Buttonwillow Raceway.
The Formula Renault driver logged approximately 650 miles during his three-day outing, with the team taking the opportunity to expose him to numerous changes to the set-up of its car to both of familiarise him with the possibilities and evaluate his feedback. Despite his lack of experience with the Atlantics machine, Lefevre impressed the team by relaying the car's behaviour with precise detail and working well with his engineers.
“It was pleasure to work with Max,” team owner Carlos Bobeda commented, “I was not only impressed by his driving ability, but also his professional approach. He never put a wheel wrong in all the laps he turned.
"Max has achieved good results in the European 'junior' formulas, so there was no doubt in my mind that he would do well in the test. However, his performance in the more powerful Atlantic car was far superior to the expectations I placed on him. He adapted very quickly to the race track and the car, and was turning competitive times from the outset. The whole team is excited to have Max in our line-up for 2009, [and] he is definitely someone to watch.”
The 23-year old Lefevre clinched this year's West European Challenger series title in FRenault but, having spent his formative years in both Britain and the United States, is looking forward to moving to Atlantics rather than continue his career in Europe.
“I am very excited with the opportunity to compete in this high-level series and look forward to the start of the Atlantic season," he admitted, "It was great fun to experience the power and downforce of the Atlantic car. Buttonwillow was a good place to start since it presents many challenges while remaining safe.
"I also appreciated very much the team's approach with a new driver - all the members of Condor Motorsports succeeded in making me feel at home and this helped me build confidence and adapt to the car within the first day. Working on car set-ups at Condor's level of professionalism was a real treat. The know-how, and the way I was looked after during the whole three days of the test, confirmed that Carlos Bobeda was the perfect person for me to make my first steps in American racing with.”
Condor, which ran Franck Perera close to the 2007 Atlantics title, is planning to run two or three cars in 2009, and has several interested parties currently under consideration for the remaining seats.