CHAMPCAR/CART: Franchitti, Tracy Motegi Thursday practice notes

MOTEGI, JAPAN - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy ended the first day of practice for Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 with the11th and 17th fastest times. Both drivers set their fast times in the afternoon session, with...

MOTEGI, JAPAN - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy ended the first day of practice for Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 with the11th and 17th fastest times. Both drivers set their fast times in the afternoon session, with Franchitti turning a lap of 26.355 seconds (211.451 mph). Tracy's best time was a 26.619 seconds (209.354 mph) around the 1.549-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval.

Tony Kanaan set the fast lap of the day - 26.142 seconds, an average of 213.174 mph. Second fastest was Helio Castroneves with a lap of 26.192 (212.767 mph).

Single-car qualifying for the Firestone Firehawk 500 is set for tomorrow from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., local time. (Friday, 12:30 - 2:00 a.m., EDT, in the United States)

The 500 kilometer/312-mile race starts at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in Japan (11:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 18), and will be televised on a tape-delay basis by ABC in the U.S. on Saturday (May 19) at 1:00 p.m.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(17th with a lap-time 26.619 seconds / 209.354 mph)

"We didn't have a very good session to end the day. This morning the KOOL car was good, but this afternoon it was really loose in Turns 1 & 2. I thought the back end was going to come around on me every time I went through there. The car is okay in Turns 3 & 4, so we'll just work on getting it right at the other end (Turns 1 & 2). I know the Team KOOL Green engineers will work hard tonight and we should be in good shape for qualifying tomorrow. Come race day, we should be in the thick of it, as usual."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(11th with a lap-time of 26.355 seconds / 211.451 mph)

"We had a really good afternoon session, but that really doesn't show in the time sheets because a couple of guys turned some quick laps in the last few minutes. We did run into a small gearing problem because I was hitting the rev limiter, which obviously hurts our top speed and lap time. So the KOOL car is really better than we're showing. The Team KOOL Green crew really worked hard on the car today and it paid off. The car has been getting better and better each time out. But there are so many variables and it's really important to get them all right on race day, or you're going to have a really long day."

-TKG

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan