Chicago Friday summary

Cicero, Ill. July 27, 2001 - Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/U.S. Print Swift) and Tony Ave (P-1 Racing/Miller Genuine Draft Swift) continued their flip flop of the top spot during Friday's practice at the Chicago Motor Speedway. Thursday...

Cicero, Ill. July 27, 2001 - Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/U.S. Print Swift) and Tony Ave (P-1 Racing/Miller Genuine Draft Swift) continued their flip flop of the top spot during Friday's practice at the Chicago Motor Speedway. Thursday testing showed Ave quickest in the morning and Orsi in the afternoon. Friday's practice was a repeat performance with Orsi's car performing better in the afternoon heat.

Times from the morning session slowed as the track temperature warmed by 11 degrees to 94. In addition to the heat, the head wind blowing in the driver's face on the back straight picked up strength. Orsi turned in the fastest speed of the afternoon session at 136.412 mph (27.156 seconds). Ave, who was fastest in the morning session, was third quickest in the afternoon with a speed of 135.573 mph (27.324 seconds). Ave still holds the overall fastest lap with his morning speed of 137.961 mph (26.851 seconds).

Ave is gunning for his second win of the season this weekend at the Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer after winning earlier this year on the oval at Nazareth. Although he was not as quick this afternoon, Ave remains upbeat with how the day went. "The afternoon session went pretty good. I think we may be getting a little long in the tooth on tires. We'll go back and look at the data, but I think it's the tires where we fell a little bit today."

"We changed the car because there is still a little bit more speed we need to find, but we're really close," said Brazil's Orsi. "I think we can find another tenth to tenth and a half and put a gap between us and the rest. It was tough out there with the track slowing down this afternoon. The wind was really strong so the car was good in turns three and four, but not very good in one and two because of the wind. But the car is almost perfect and I think I have a good chance for the pole." Orsi has started second in four of the season's first six races and is still searching for his first career CART Toyota Atlantic Championship pole.

Stephan C. Roy (P-1 Racing/Playstation 2 Momo Swift), who has stayed in the top three spots since testing on Thursday, moved up to the second spot in the afternoon session with a speed of 136.367 mph (27.165 seconds). Roy remains in third place overall with Orsi in second.

"The track is better this afternoon but it's windier than it was this morning and on the backstretch you're going into the wind," said Quebec's Roy. "The team did an excellent job as usual and I would like to thank the team for making the car easy to drive, and that's why we're fast."

Rodolfo Lavin (Michael Shank Racing/Corona Swift) was fourth fastest in the afternoon session and overall with his morning time of 136.076 mph (27.223 seconds). Rocky Moran Jr. (Cobb Racing Swift) is tied with Lavin at the same speed.

David Rutledge (Lynx Racing Swift) continued his struggles to get up to speed placing 13th overall during today's sessions. Like most of the teams, Rutledge turned his fastest lap this morning with a speed of 131.562 mph (28.157 seconds). Rutledge is heading into this weekend's race with a four point lead over Hoover Orsi in the points championship, with a total of 94 points.

The only yellow flag of the day occurred late in the afternoon session when Charles Hall (Duesenberg Brothers Racing/Western Union First Data Swift) pulled off course at the pit exit with mechanical problems. The session went back under the green flag to allow for a few final laps of practice.

The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship teams resume practice on Saturday morning bright and early at 8:00 a.m. CST for a 40-minute practice session. Qualifying for the Round 7 race begins at 12:15 p.m. CST.

-CART-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Tony Ave , Hoover Orsi , David Rutledge , Stephan C. Roy , Rocky Moran Jr. , Rodolfo Lavin , Charles Hall , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing