CHAMPCAR/CART: Lola Cleveland Friday practice report

Da Matta Deals With Da Heat in Cleveland Joined by Kenny Brack as two of top three in practice Cristiano da Matta dealt with hot, sauna-like conditions at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, wrenching a top lap of 57.905 seconds (130.932mph) in...

Da Matta Deals With Da Heat in Cleveland
Joined by Kenny Brack as two of top three in practice

Cristiano da Matta dealt with hot, sauna-like conditions at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, wrenching a top lap of 57.905 seconds (130.932mph) in dual practice sessions for Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar. Da Matta's #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Lola/Toyota led both sessions and he noted, "The car was good right out of the box today, but better this morning than this afternoon. We were fastest in both sessions so that makes us happy, but today was a learning day. It's bumpy here, but that is normal.

Of course, if they wanted to repave the whole place it would be even better." Burke Lakefront is an operating airport, and da Matta's wishes may never be granted, to his dismay.

Kenny Brack logged the third-quickest speed of the day. The CART point leader logged a lap of 58.304sec/130.036mph in the #8 Shell Lola/Ford, and later helped announce the name of CART's new band, in which he plays lead guitar. R.P.M -- Racing Powered Music -- makes its first public appearance at CART's next venue, Toronto, where Brack, drummer Patrick Carpentier of Team Player's, bassist Laz Denes (PR director for Mo Nunn Racing) and lead singer Elizabeth Fornal of CART's marketing department, will attempt to entertain away from their "day" jobs. About this practice, Brack noted, "This morning was not a good reading for us, but we made the car pretty good this afternoon. We have a solid platform to work with on Saturday. It gets dirty just off the racing line and I think some drivers try harder here because there are no walls."

Brack also put a bead on the heat of this day. The morning session was conducted in 88-degree ambient temps and track temperatures around 112 degrees. Afternoon clouds threatened rain, and both the ambient and track temps dropped to 84 and 104 degrees, respectively. "Days like this are pretty grueling, with the heat and humidity," Brack acknowledged. "You don't think about it (heat) in the car, but when you stop in the pits, you can really feel it."

Qualifying is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, and thundershowers are indicated. The 100 lap Marconi Grand Prix will be telecast live by ABC on Sunday, and starts at 1pm EDT.

-Lola Cars International Inc

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn