DAVIDSON FASTEST IN FRIDAY USGP PRACTICE; M. SCHUMACHER SECOND American Speed runs mid-pack despite troubles in first practice INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 30, 2006 - Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team test driver Anthony Davidson led both free ...
DAVIDSON FASTEST IN FRIDAY USGP PRACTICE; M. SCHUMACHER SECOND
American Speed runs mid-pack despite troubles in first practice
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 30, 2006 - Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team test driver Anthony Davidson led both free practice sessions June 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Formula One teams began preparations for United States Grand Prix qualifying and race.
Davidson lapped the 13-turn, 2.605-mile road circuit in 1 minute, 12.013 seconds, 130.222 mph during the second session - the top lap of the day. He also recorded the fastest lap of the first session, 1:12.083, 130.095.
"It was eventful," Davidson said. "Ended both sessions P1, so that is always good. It was pretty effortless, really. When the car works well, it always is."
Among the drivers that will compete in Sunday's seventh running of the United States Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher was fastest in his Ferrari at 1:12.458, 129.422 mph. Schumacher, a record four-time winner of the USGP and record seven-time F1 World Champion, set the lap early in the first practice session, then promptly spun off the course in Turn 4 after a total of only three practice laps, requiring his car to be returned to pit lane on a flatbed truck following the session.
"I am happy with what we have seen on track today," Schumacher said. "The situation looks good, which means we can tackle the rest of the weekend with confidence." Let's say I had more problems trying to watch the (World Cup) quarterfinals on television than I did in the cockpit of my Ferrari. When I went off track this morning, maybe I was still thinking a bit too much about the grass on the football (soccer) pitch!"
Behind Davidson and Schumacher in the overall practice results were BMW Sauber F1 Team test driver Robert Kubica in third at 1:12.809, 128.798, Giancarlo Fisichella in his Mild Seven Renault F1 Team entry, fourth at 1:12.933, 128.579, and Rubens Barrichello, fifth, at 1:13.090, 128.303 in the Lucky Strike Honda. There were no major incidents in either session.
Qualifying starts at 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday, July 1, preceded by the third Formula One practice session at 10 a.m.
The 73-lap United States Grand Prix race starts at 1 p.m. Sunday.
American Scott Speed, driving in the 2006 F1 World Championship for Scuderia Toro Rosso, was ninth in the first practice and 11th in the second. His day got off to a rocky start when his car faltered exiting pit lane at the start of the first session due to an electronics problem. Speed, a 23-year-old native of Manteca, Calif., got on track in the team's third car halfway through the session.
"Not so bad," Speed said. "We're going to see on Sunday, but initial impressions aren't too bad here. But the track for us is quite difficult because it's so low downforce here, and infield is so tight and dirty that the cars slide around everywhere here."
Speed is the first American since Eddie Cheever Jr. in 1989 to participate in a United States Grand Prix.
2006 USGP tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2006 United States Grand Prix, scheduled for Sunday, July 2.
Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.
Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time. A three-day "Season Pass" for the event is only $60. The pass is good for admission to IMS for all three days of on-track activity, Friday, June 30-Sunday, July 2. All seating Friday and Saturday is general admission, and the pass provides general admission access to the Viewing Mounds, Infield, First Turn Terrace, South Terrace and Tower Terrace (Sections 39-77) on Sunday, July 2.
Reserved seats for Race Day, Sunday, July 2, start at $75.