Team Rahal's Kenny Brack Fastest In Practice For Season-Ending Race At Fontana Notes: BRACK SETS FAST LAP DURING AFTERNOON PRACTICE - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack set the fastest lap during today's practice for the season-ending Marlboro 500...
Team Rahal's Kenny Brack Fastest In Practice For Season-Ending Race At Fontana
BRACK SETS FAST LAP DURING AFTERNOON PRACTICE - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack set the fastest lap during today's practice for the season-ending Marlboro 500 at the California Speedway. Brack lapped the 2.0-mile super speedway with an average speed of 230.597 seconds, ahead of Bruno Junquiera (230.292 mph) and Paul Tracy (229.908 mph). Alex Tagliani was third fastest during the afternoon session, while his teammate, Patrick Carpentier, who won the Michigan 500 earlier this season, was sixth fastest in the morning and seventh fastest during the afternoon session.
FORD-COSWORTH XF ENGINE SUCCESSFUL FOR 500 MILES - Although this weekend's race marks the end of just its second season of competition, the Ford-Cosworth XF engine has clearly established itself as the dominant powerplant in 500-mile races. In last season's Marlboro 500 at the California Speedway, Ford-powered teams swept seven of the top eight positions, including winner Christian Fittipaldi and runner-up Roberto Moreno. The Ford-Cosworth XF has also been strong in its two races at the Michigan International Speedway. The engine for three of the top six finishers in 2000, the XF powered four of the top six finishers this season, including winner Patrick Carpentier, who earned his first career CART victory, and third-place finisher Michel Jourdain, Jr., who earned his first career CART podium appearance.
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 4th-fastest during the afternoon practice - "We spent a lot of time working on the race set up this morning. This afternoon we started the session thinking about the race set up and in the middle of the session we started thinking about a little more speed. We reduced the drag on the car and it was fantastic towards the end of the session. I was running very high on the track and it felt very good."
WHAT CAN YOU USE FROM YOUR RACE SET UP AT MICHIGAN HERE AT FONTANA? "Nothing really. I think Michigan is a totally different track and we're already using a different set up on the car. There's a lot of bumps here on this track and it's very difficult to go fast if you're too stiff here."
YOU'VE RUN WELL ON THE OVALS THIS SEASON, HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU COMING INTO THIS RACE? "I feel confident even though it's a 500 mile race and is very long and there are so many things that can happen. I feel that the team is really strong and we're in a good mood. We've done a fantastic job on the road courses, street courses, qualifying, and racing even though we've had some bad luck this season. But at least we are a very competitive team, and I'm really looking forward to next season. On the ovals I just want to do my best and see where we're going to end up at the end. If we're up there at the end I think there's a great chance we can score a podium finish."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 7th-fastest during the afternoon practice - "It was a good day. The car felt really good and it was really fast. We used a lot of downforce and were running full tanks, nothing important, so it should be interesting for Sunday. We think we have a great car so we'll see."
DO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT GOING FOR A SWEEP OF THE 500 MILE RACES? "Yes, sir. That's the objective, so we'll see. I think we can."
WHAT CAN YOU TAKE FROM THE MICHIGAN RACE AND APPLY HERE? "A lot, actually. We came with similar set ups and put the car on the track. It was very good today and it stayed that way all day. We were just playing with aerodynamics and springs and stuff like that, but we have a strong base and we know where we're going. Today we ran full tanks and we were seventh this afternoon, so I think we'll be fine for Sunday."
BRYAN HERTA (#77 Forsythe Championship Racing Ford-Cosworth) - 8th-fastest during the afternoon session - "The car felt really good and I'm pleased with what we accomplished today. I had a little bit of mid-corner understeer in turns two and four, but other than that the car ran great. I was haven't been here in a couple of years, but I'm surprised at how bumpy the back straight is. But other than that I thought we ran well today and I'm looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."