CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland Saturday practice notes

By - David C. Schilke - Motorsport.com Today is the official start of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar. Friday is treated as a test session to give the teams a chance to become familiar with the temporary road course on...

By - David C. Schilke - Motorsport.com

Today is the official start of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar. Friday is treated as a test session to give the teams a chance to become familiar with the temporary road course on the Burke Lakefront Airport. Today's temperatures are slightly cooler than yesterdays and there is a chance of rain later in the day, possibly during the qualifying sessions. If it rains during qualifying the teams still have a chance to be competitive due to the data and experience they bring with them from the rain dominated race in Portland. If it does not rain then speeds will continue to increase as the drivers fine-tune their car for the wide and open circuit at Cleveland.

The morning practice had very little interruptions. During the session the track was shut down once for Paul Tracy. Tracy spun at turn 6 and stalled the car. CART Safety gets the car restarted and Tracy is given a 8 minute delay-of-session penalty.

During the practice there were a few drivers that spun and continued at all turns around the circuit. Takagi, Moreno, Carpentier, Frenandez, Wilson, Andretti, Papis, Zanardi and Kanaan all have at least one spin and continue in the session.

Kenny Brack had a fire in the pits that was quickly put out but made him have to bring out the backup car for the rest of the session. Kenny was complaining about boost problems before the fire occurred.

Alex Tagliani brought out the checker a minute early when he spun and stalled at turn 7. A fire started at the rear of the car after the spin but it is put out by CART Safety before it causes any problems.

The Bryan Herta set the fastest lap this morning. His speeds were up to 130.938 mph by the end of the session. Gil de Ferran was second posting a 130.674 mph lap speed. Paul Tracy came in third reaching130.652 mph. Cristiano da Matta, the fastest man from Friday could only be fourth fastest at 130.625 mph, much slower than his lap speed yesterday. Qualifying starts later today with the field spilt into two groups. The pole could be grabbed by anyone. Kenny Brack and Helio Castroneves, the leaders in the points race, are both out of the top five in today's morning practice. Kenny was only 13th in his backup car. With how tight the points battle is coming into Cleveland the qualifying point is almost as valuable as a win here.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta