Birmingham: Papis, Fittipaldi Friday report

Papis and Fittipaldi Take Turns Pacing the Field in Practice For Sunday's Grand American Rolex Series Porsche 250 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Friday, July 28, 2006) Christian Fittipaldi and Max Papis turned the fastest practice laps of the day as they put...

Papis and Fittipaldi Take Turns Pacing the Field in Practice For Sunday's Grand American Rolex Series Porsche 250

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Friday, July 28, 2006) Christian Fittipaldi and Max Papis turned the fastest practice laps of the day as they put the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford through morning and afternoon practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's Grand American Rolex Series Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Fittipaldi started the day with a fast lap of 1 minute, 22.355 seconds (an average of 100.540 mph) over the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course located just west of downtown Birmingham. Papis, the sports car and open-wheel driving veteran who joined the Cheever team for the first time this weekend, followed that up by driving the entire 60-minute afternoon session and coming away with the fastest lap of 1:23.404 (99.276 mph). Papis, who had never driven a Crawford chassis before this weekend, worked exclusively on race setup under the hottest conditions of the day with high humidity and temperatures approaching the 100-degree mark.

Practice resumes at 10 a.m. CDT Saturday with 15 minutes of Daytona Prototype qualifying set for 1:45 p.m. CDT. Race time Sunday is 2 p.m. CDT with a live broadcast set for SPEED-TV.

MAX PAPIS

"Obviously, the Crown Royal team has given me a great race car that I can drive fast with little experience in it. I felt very good in race setup. The lap times came consistently and easily. We still need to chip away at a few corners, but overall things are going well, right now. We have an excellent chemistry with Christian. Both of us are fastest. It's a difficult thing to try and come back to this series, which has become so competitive. But to have such a successful first day back on the job, that is very satisfying. I was a little rusty when we started the session, but I have to say I'm feeling pretty good right now. We have some more work to do.

Hopefully we will continue on the path we are on."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI

"Needless today, I'm a very happy guy for a lot of reasons after a day like that. It's only Friday, but so far, so good. I drove the morning session and we worked on a lot of performance things. The car did it's job perfectly, and we ended up fastest. This afternoon, we wanted to give Max as much time in the car as possible because it's his first time racing a Crawford chassis, where you sit on the right side instead of the left. He worked more on race setup things and ran on older tires in the afternoon session, and we came away with the fastest lap, again. In both situations, we ended up fastest. It doesn't get much better than that. Again, it's only Friday. But we're definitely headed in the right direction."

-www.maxpapis.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi