CHAMPCAR/CART: Christian Fittipadli sets fast time on Homestad oval

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 8, 2000) -- Christian Fittipaldi turned the fastest time in testing for the March 24-26 Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota on Thursday, running a lap of 206.879 mph in the Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola on the 1.5-mile...

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 8, 2000) -- Christian Fittipaldi turned the fastest time in testing for the March 24-26 Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota on Thursday, running a lap of 206.879 mph in the Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola on the 1.5-mile oval.

Fittipaldi, driving for Newman Haas Racing, was joined by Team Kool Green's Paul Tracy and Dale Coyne Racing rookie Takuya Kurosawa in testing for the CART FedEx Championship Series opener.

"We've definitely made some progress from Spring Training," said Fittipaldi, referring to the Homestead-Miami Speedway session for all of the CART teams in early February. Fittipaldi was fifth fastest in Spring Training, with his best lap 26.113 seconds (207.069 mph). Max Papis ran the fastest lap of Spring Training, 25.760 (209.907 mph).

"My dash read 26.00 (206.879)," Fittipaldi said after Wednesday's practice. "It's been windy the past two days here, and that is definitely different from Spring Training, when it was calm. At this track, the wind does make a difference. If we had perfect conditions today, we could have gone about two-tenths faster.

"But that (testing speed) doesn't make a difference," Fittipaldi continued. "What's more important is exactly what we learned and the changes we did on the car. Yesterday (Tuesday) we ran some wild settings on the car and we learned a lot. Today, we fine-tuned on what we worked on yesterday. We're very happy, and hopefully we're going to be in excellent shape when we return for the race."

Practice for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota begins on Friday, March 24, with qualifying set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The race takes the green flag at 2 p.m. Sunday, with Fittipaldi and Newman Haas teammate Michael Andretti among the large number of contenders for the checkered flag.

"This race is pretty wide open, but at the same time it's very competitive," Fittipaldi explained. "It's amazing, because it gets harder every year. The teams gear up a little bit more every year, and you have younger and stronger drivers every year, and more pressure from all over the place. Everyone just wants to do very, very well. You just have to take your time and build up on your experience. Definitely, that's what counts in the long run."

Reserved grandstand seats for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota are now on sale, beginning at $55, by calling (305) 230-RACE. For additional information, visit the official web site, www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Teams Dale Coyne Racing