Franchitti 4th, Tracy 11th in practice at California Speedway. FONTANA, California - Despite posting the second quickest time in morning practice, Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti felt that there were things that could still be improved on his...
Franchitti 4th, Tracy 11th in practice at California Speedway.
FONTANA, California - Despite posting the second quickest time in morning practice, Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti felt that there were things that could still be improved on his KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone as the CART FedEx Championship began preparations for this Sunday's 500 mile race at California Speedway. The Scot, who posted the fourth best time overall with a fast lap of 232.743 mph (31.384 seconds), spent much of the afternoon focused on finding a comfortable race set for The 500, the longest event on the 2002 CART schedule. Franchitti's teammate Paul Tracy also spent Friday searching for the right set up. The Canadian driver finished the day 11th on the charts overall, with a best lap of 230.882 mph (31.637 seconds). Both cars began the day carrying a set up learned at a September test at Michigan International Speedway (a sister track to California Speedway), but both drivers admitted it failed to allow them to achieve optimum results.
Alex Tagliani was quickest for the day recording a top speed of 233.726 mph (31.252 seconds). Jimmy Vasser was second fastest with a top speed of 232.988 mph (31.351 seconds), while Tony Kanaan rounded out the top three with a speed of 232.891 mph (31.364 seconds). Franchitti and Tracy's technical partner, Michael Andretti, was seventh quickest with a speed of 231.981 mph (31.487 seconds).
Saturday's schedule kicks off with practice at 8:30 a.m. PDT and will be followed by single car qualifying at 11:30 a.m. PDT. Speed Channel will carry CART qualifying live, starting at 2:30 p.m. EST.
Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I think we're getting very different readings than what Paul discovered in his test at Michigan International Speedway, in fact I think Paul, Michael and I all noticed it. We worked on race stuff in both sessions and the Honda engine feels very strong. The car wasn't that great this morning, although we ended up second at the end first practice. We worked on things and made the KOOL car more like a race car and we're pretty happy with it right now. I think Team KOOL Green should do alright out there."
Speed: 237.743 mph
Time: 31.384 seconds
Speed: 231.746 mph
Time: 31.519 seconds
Kyle Moyer, Team KOOL Green Team Manager
"Everything worked out like we wanted it to. This morning was pretty good, the car was quick right off the bat and we've just been working on it. We probably could have been a little bit quicker than we were this afternoon, but we decided to do a long run and the car was really held a good balance during that run. We can't be anything but happy right now."
Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"We had a pretty big struggle today handling wise and we had some things happening on the car that we didn't at our test. (Paul tested at Michigan International Speedway in September.) The car was pretty unstable early on and I wasn't able to drive it very well. We made some changes to the KOOL car right at the very end of the afternoon session and I was able to move from second last to top seven. If we can improve the car tomorrow we should be right up there."
Speed: 230.459 mph
Time: 31.695 seconds
Speed: 230.882 mph
Time: 31.637 seconds
John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant
"Paul wasn't happy at all this morning with the balance of the car especially in traffic, it was nervous and he had to hang on. We made quite a few changes after the first session but he still wasn't happy. We went backwards and forwards with a couple of things until finally we got to the stage where we could start trimming things out. We started to get rid of the wicker so we could start to get rid of some drag. It made things a lot more comfortable, especially in traffic. We've got a good direction now. We were kind of groping before, you've got to remember the Lola's are still new to us on the superspeedways, but it's coming together well."