U.S. 500 -- TASMAN MOTORSPORTS DOMINANT IN OPENING U.S. 500 PRACTICE SESSION BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 10, 1996) -- The Tasman Motorsports tandem of Adrian Fernandez and Andre Ribeiro recorded the fastest laps during Friday's opening day of full ...
U.S. 500 -- TASMAN MOTORSPORTS DOMINANT IN OPENING U.S. 500 PRACTICE SESSION
BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 10, 1996) -- The Tasman Motorsports tandem of Adrian Fernandez and Andre Ribeiro recorded the fastest laps during Friday's opening day of full practice in preparation for U.S. 500 pole qualifying at Michigan International Speedway.
Fernandez , driving the Tecate Beer/Quaker Lola Honda, was clocked around the 2-mile oval at 233.402 miles per hour to outrun his teammate Ribeiro (LCI International Lola Honda) during a practice that was reduced to one session because of inclement weather. Ribeiro gave the Lola/Honda combination with Firestone tires the top two slots with a speed of 230.103 mph. Tasman also has the fastest PPG-Firestone Indy Lights driver in Tony Kanaan, who ran a speed of 177.131 mph during Thursday's only practice session for that series.
Fernandez, who qualified 11th at MIS last season, will be chasing his first career IndyCar pole when the 27-car field vies for the inaugural pole beginning at 2 p.m. EST. ESPN will provide live coverage of pole qualifying starting at 2:30 p.m. EST. The pole winner will earn a record $100,000 for capturing the Marlboro Pole Award.
"We have an excellent package for this track," Fernandez said. "The car is working very well here. It does what you tell it to do. It is very consistent. … Our time today gives us a lot of confidence not only for pole day, but for race day."
The Honda engine, which has won three of the five poles during the 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series season, took the top four spots as previous pole winners Gil de Ferran and Jimmy Vasser followed Fernandez and Ribeiro. De Ferran (Pennzoil Special Reynard Honda), the pole winner at Long Beach, was third at 229.834 mph. Vasser, who won the pole at the IndyCar Australia, was fourth at 229.813 mph.
Scott Pruett had the top Ford, running the fifth-fastest lap at 229.691 mph in the Firestone Patrick Racing Lola Ford. Mercedes was paced by Bobby Rahal (Miller Reynard Mercedes), who was sixth-fastest at 229.400 mph. Rounding out the top 10 were Paul Tracy (Marlboro Penske Mercedes, 228.945 mph), Bryan Herta (Shell Reynard Mercedes, 228.532 mph), Parker Johnstone (Motorola Reynard Honda, 227.612 mph) and Emerson Fittipaldi (Marlboro Hogan Penske Mercedes, 227.571 mph).
The inaugural U.S. 500 will be televised live Sunday, May 26 on ESPN beginning at 2 p.m.