CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Monterrey Friday practice

KENNY BRACK THE FASTEST FORD IN FRIDAY PRACTICE Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack posted the fourth-fastest time on Friday during practice for Sunday's Monterrey Grand Prix. Brack navigated the 2.1-mile road course in 1:19.48, trailing only Gil de...

KENNY BRACK THE FASTEST FORD IN FRIDAY PRACTICE

Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack posted the fourth-fastest time on Friday during practice for Sunday's Monterrey Grand Prix. Brack navigated the 2.1-mile road course in 1:19.48, trailing only Gil de Ferran (1:18.581), Cristiano da Matta (1:18.737) and Helio Castroneves (1:18.916). Player's Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier's time of 1:19.390 was the fifth-fastest time of the day with Zakspeed/Forsythe's Bryan Herta setting the sixth quickest lap time at 1:19.432.

Friday's morning practice session was cut short and most drivers completed only a dozen or so laps because of the dirty and slippery track conditions. The slippery conditions continued into the first part of afternoon practice before improving as the session went on.

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - 4th fastest in practice -
"I think we did a good job considering everything. The track has very little grip and is like driving on snow or ice. You go into the corner and have a big understeer then all of a sudden the rear end comes around, so you correct that and then you have understeer again. You just have to try to figure it out and carry your speed into the corners and sort of gather it up in the middle and exit. The track grip gets better and better so every time you go into the pit lane to do an adjustment ... we came in no worse than P-3 all the time, but when we went out we were P-9 again. You put a good time in because the track is better and then you come in P-1, P-2 or P-3 to make another adjustment and you fall back down again. I think it's going to be interesting to see how teams struggle with their settings during the night because that's what it's going to come down to tomorrow. We have all the things right now to be competitive and it feels good."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 5th fastest in practice -
"Unfortunately the only cars that can really clean the track are Champ Cars because of the wind tunnels and the way we "scoop" air off of the track as we roll over it. The track just kept getting better and better as we continued to run and that was all there was to it. Anybody who was going out the latest was going the fastest."

ARE YOU PLEASED AFTER YOUR FIRST SESSION ON THE NEW TRACK?

"I like it ... I really do. I think it's a great track. They did a beautiful job and I'm really impressed. For the amount of time they had to pull this together, I think it's fantastic. For sure there's always improvements that can be done, but this one is good. It's smooth and slippery, but once the cars have run a few laps I think it's going to be a fun place."

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE CAR?

"Yeah, I'm happy. We need to do some improvements - the times today mean absolutely nothing, but at least we know we're in the game. We think we know what we need to improve and we'll go from there."

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Zakspeed/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 6th fastest in practice -
"The track's going to keep changing so I don't think there's too much of a victory in running well today, but certainly it's better than running poorly. It's a good start, we learned some things and it's a good confidence booster to start out on the right foot. Hopefully we can work now to continue that."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE CIRCUIT?

"It's a new track and it's dirty and slippery, but the grip's coming in the more we run and I'm sure it'll keep getting faster the more we run. It's a unique little layout and I'm looking forward to it."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Light Ford-Cosworth) - 25th fastest in practice -
"Today was a learning day. There was something very unusual in our car and we'll see how we do tomorrow."

BRUCE WOOD (CART Program Director, Ford-Cosworth) -
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS FROM THE FIRST COMPETITIVE SESSION OF THE SEASON?

"Yeah, I think so. The track was so dirty this morning it kind of looked like we wouldn't be able to tell anything, but I think this afternoon it was speeding up almost a full second every five or 10 minutes. In talking with Kenny (Brack), he's happy with the engine and happy with the car, and I think Patrick (Carpentier) and Bryan (Herta) are as well. I feel bad for Max (Papis), but I think there's something in the car that they'll find once they look into it. It's unfortunate the red flag came out to end the session because I know Kenny was on a flying lap and maybe could've notched up a bit higher. We're reasonably happy but ask me again this time tomorrow."

-FRT

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Series IndyCar
Teams Team Zakspeed