Homestead: Cheever Racing qualifying report

Fittipaldi Puts Crown Royal Special Reserve Cheever Racing Prototype On the Front Row for Saturday Night's Grand Prix of Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Friday, March 24, 2006) Christian Fittipaldi and Lucas Luhr will start Saturday night's Grand Prix of...

Fittipaldi Puts Crown Royal Special Reserve Cheever Racing Prototype On the Front Row for Saturday Night's Grand Prix of Miami

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Friday, March 24, 2006) Christian Fittipaldi and Lucas Luhr will start Saturday night's Grand Prix of Miami Grand American Rolex Series race from the outside of the front row after qualifying this evening on the Homestead Miami Speedway 2.3-mile road course.

Fittipaldi, driving the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve/Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford, recorded a fast qualifying lap of 1 minute, 14.384 seconds (111.314 mph) during this evening's 15-minute session that set the front of the 47-car grid, including 26 Daytona Prototype class cars.

Earlier today, Fittipaldi and Luhr, who's on loan from the Porsche factory team to take the place of team owner Eddie Cheever in the driver's seat this weekend while Cheever focuses on driving duties in the team's IRL IndyCar Series entry, posted top-three laps in both morning and afternoon practice sessions today. Thursday, they posted top-six and top-seven laps, respectively, in Thursday's two practice sessions. Saturday, they'll start alongside the polesitting #23 Porsche Crawford of Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long.

Race time for Saturday's 2-hour, 45-minute race is 6:30 p.m. EST. Thirty minutes of final practice for the Rolex Series competitors begins at 11:45 a.m. EST.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI

"It feels great to start on the front row anywhere you go. But the thing that feels the best is how much better we were able to make the Crown Royal Special Reserve car between practice and qualifying today. We worked a lot on race setup on older tires yesterday, not really trying for the ultimate lap. Today we worked on making the car good for qualifying and everybody did a really good job. Everyone loves to start up front, but when you get down to it, what you need is a really good race car, and I think that is what we have. This is my home track on the circuit, which would make a win here very special. It's also my wife's birthday tomorrow, and I think a win would make a very good present to her. Really, we'll do our best and see where we come out. But we have a really good car. We have (47) cars in the race, so I hope everyone keeps in mind that it's a three-hour race and not a half-hour race, or a one-hour race. I know how these races go. A lot can happen. This is a narrower track and the banking is much different than at Daytona, so everyone will have to remember to behave."

LUCAL LUHR

"We said yesterday if we could make the right improvements, we would show up today with a top-three car, and that's exactly what happened. We were third in both practice sessions, and then we were able to make the car even better for qualifying. It's very important to start as close to the front as possible here because you want to stay away from the bad stuff at the beginning of the race. Tomorrow in practice, we'll work on our race setup again and hopefully that will go as smoothly as our day went today. We're close to having the car exactly where we want it to be. All it needs is a little bit of fine tuning."

-cr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Christian Fittipaldi , Patrick Long , Mike Rockenfeller