CHAMPCAR/CART: Gateway Friday Ford Racing notes

TEAM RAHAL DRIVER MAX PAPIS POSTED THE FASTEST TIME ON FRIDAY DURING PRACTICE FOR THE MOTOROLA 300. Papis' lapped the 1.270-mile oval in 26.859 seconds (176.805 mph) during the morning practice to set the pace, while Juan Montoya was fastest...

TEAM RAHAL DRIVER MAX PAPIS POSTED THE FASTEST TIME ON FRIDAY DURING PRACTICE FOR THE MOTOROLA 300. Papis' lapped the 1.270-mile oval in 26.859 seconds (176.805 mph) during the morning practice to set the pace, while Juan Montoya was fastest during the afternoon session at 25.869 seconds (176.737 mph). Helio Castroneves recorded the second-quickest time of the day during the afternoon session (25.965 seconds; 176.083 mph) while Tony Kanaan was third fastest in the afternoon and fourth- fastest on the day (25.995 seconds; 175.880 mph). Other top drivers powered by Ford-Cosworth included Papis' teammate Kenny Brack who was fifth fastest (25.999 seconds; 175.853 mph) and Alex Tagliani who was eighth fastest (26.046 seconds; 175.536 mph).

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - 1st in practice - "I'm pretty happy. We had a pretty good test here a few weeks ago when we had the quickest time, even though we only ran 50 laps, and we finished fifth here last season. I'm very proud of the guys, especially with the tough season we've had so far. The team has a very good set up for ovals, so I'm pretty confident that we will continue to do well the rest of the weekend."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - 5th in practice - "I spent the morning learning the track and then started to pick up the pace in the afternoon. Although we're fifth-fastest, I think we still need more speed in the car. It will be difficult to pass here because of the aerodynamic package, so qualifying will be very critical."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - 8th in practice - "I think the car is definitely very good. We showed up here with a car that's always consistent and quick to be in the top five, so all we have to do is fine tune it. Our plan was to work on our race configuration, and we wanted to do that after we did a fairly good lap time in the session but it didn't turn out very good because there was so many yellow flags at the end. We know where we wanted to be and we learned enough during the sessions to just try something tomorrow morning that we learned this afternoon and hopefully we'll be able to be in the 25's."

ANY BIG CHANGES PLANNED FOR TOMORROW? - "Just little tweaks here and there. When I did my fast run early in the session I had too much push in the car, but we know how to fix it now and we tried it a little bit later with tires that were much older and we went pretty quick. We're feeling pretty confident and our goal was to stay in the fast group for tomorrow. We are, so right now we're feeling pretty good."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - 15th in practice - "Nothing special; not so good, not so bad. We had some difficulties (and) had to switch the cars I think four or five times today back and forth from the main to the backup, from the main to the backup. We lost a lot of time and we're not as fast as we'd like to be, but that's usually the case here. On Saturday we usually get faster, so we'll see what happens."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - 17th in practice - "We had a CV joint go during the afternoon session. We were just trying different things today - different aero packages and suspension set ups for qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday. I'm pretty happy with the car and I definitely think we have more in it for tomorrow."

ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - 18th in practice - "We started the day with a very good basic set up that I am very happy with. Then we filled it up for the afternoon session and worked on the race set up and we're quite happy with it. We're now going to concentrate on qualifying again following-up on what we started the day working on."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco-Havoline Ford Cosworth) - 20th in practice - "The car feels fine for the conditions we had today. We struggled a little bit during both sessions and found some things that were good, but we weren't able to run a fast qualifying simulation lap. It's a shame because I think we'd have been right up there with the other guys who are quick, but we're right on target in terms of where we should be for the weekend."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - 21st in practice - "I think I have a good race car. We're still working on some stability on the rear in turns three and four, but this afternoon we ran on full tanks all the time with old tires so we never got a chance to try newer tires to get a time. We were trying at the end but those two yellow flags didn't help us. In the morning my "T" car was better than my race car. We had a problem in the primary car with the exhaust and the balance for some reason was not good, so we lost a lot of time in the morning by changing the car. But I think even though we're in the back, I don't think we're bad, I think at the end we'll be able to get a good balance on the car for qualifying. This afternoon was valuable for us to just get an idea how the car will be for the race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack