CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Cleveland Friday notes

Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack posted the third-fastest lap of the day during Friday's practice for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Brack lapped the 2.106-mile temporary airport circuit in 58.304 seconds, trailing only Cristiano da Matta ...

Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack posted the third-fastest lap of the day during Friday's practice for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Brack lapped the 2.106-mile temporary airport circuit in 58.304 seconds, trailing only Cristiano da Matta (57.905 seconds) and Helio Castroneves (57.961 seconds). Zakspeed/Forsythe driver Bryan Herta had a strong day, posting the seventh-fastest practice lap (58.340 seconds), while Brack's teammate Max Papis recorded the 11th-fastest lap (58.736 seconds).

Ford-Cosworth will be seeking its second consecutive pole position at Cleveland (and its second since re-entering Champ Car competition in 1992) and its third pole position in the last four races during tomorrow's qualifying sessions.

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - 4th-fastest during practice - "We finished fourth during the morning session, but I don't think the car was that good. We changed tires right before the end of the session and posted a good time, but the car still needed a lot of work going into the afternoon. I thought we made some good progress during the afternoon and once again the Ford-Cosworth/Lola package proved that it's very competitive and very fast. I'm pretty happy with the changes we made on the car, but I still think it needs some more fine-tuning before we make a run at the pole tomorrow. The track is very bumpy of course, but the grip was improving as the day went on. The track continues to get better and better and I expect the speeds to continue improving as the weekend progresses."

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Zakspeed/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 7th-fastest during practice - "It was a pretty good day. We made a couple of changes during the afternoon session that I didn't like but we couldn't change them back until tonight. We'll change those back for tomorrow, but I think we're getting to be a little bit closer to where I think we need to be on these tracks." ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT YOU HAVE A GOOD BASELINE FOR TOMORROW? "Yeah, I think we're pretty good. I'm not totally happy yet but I'm much happier than I've been on the road courses this year."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - 11th-fastest during practice - "We were exploring today and we found a pretty good set up towards the end of the afternoon. It was very difficult to improve my lap times with all the red flags and traffic, so it was more of finding the right spots at the right times. We have a little bit more to go on the car - I think we can improve a half a second or so, but overall we made a good step forward."

DO YOU FEEL MORE CONFIDENT GOING INTO SATURDAY THAN YOU DID LAST WEEKEND IN PORTLAND?

"With all these bumps on the track it's very difficult to find an optimal set up, so we're going to go back and think and have to compromise with what we want, so we're going to have to see tomorrow."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/ Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 13th-fastest during practice - "We had a pretty good day and the team did a good job today. We struggled a little bit with the set up but we were kind of limited with the potential of what we had. We changed it from A to Z and it gave us more downforce in the rear, but then we had a lot of understeer with new tires. Now we know the problem, but it was a last minute change. I think we have a lot left in the car so I'm pretty pleased. The engine ran trouble-free all day and that's what we need if we want to continue to improve our set up."

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO FIND A SET UP ON A BUMPY TRACK LIKE THIS?

"It's difficult because in the last couple of races the car was fine, but then we came here and we got surprised with the reaction of the car on the bumps, so that's why we're going in a different direction right now."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/ Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 25th-fastest during practice - "Man it's bumpy, but it's bumpy for everybody. We made some changes today, but I think it was a bit bumpier for us. For sure it didn't go the way we wanted it to go, but it's Friday and we'll look forward to Saturday. We know where we want to go with the car, so I think we should be good tomorrow."

WERE YOU AFFECTED AT ALL BY THE HUMID CONDITIONS?

"I didn't feel it too much. I thought it wasn't as bad as it was in Detroit a few weeks ago where it was really tough to breathe."

HOW ARE THE TRACK CONDITIONS?

"It is a little bit slick, but the thing is that you spend so much time up in the air that it's not even funny. The objective here is not so much to find a lot of grip in your set up, but as long as you have good grip the thing is to keep the car on the track and you'll be fast."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Max Papis , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Zakspeed