CHAMPCAR/CART: Nazareth AM Practice Story

Nazareth, PA (April 24, 1998) - Christian Fittipaldi just nipped his team mate Michael Andretti at the end of this morning's practice session to set fast time. Fittipaldi's time of 19.008 was just eight one-hundreds of a second faster than ...

Nazareth, PA (April 24, 1998) - Christian Fittipaldi just nipped his team mate Michael Andretti at the end of this morning's practice session to set fast time. Fittipaldi's time of 19.008 was just eight one-hundreds of a second faster than Andretti's best time. Paul Tracy was third, followed by Helio Castro-Neves and Greg Moore. J. J. Lehto was 18th quickest, just six tenths off the pace in his first time on the circuit.

CART's flagman was busy with the blue flag this morning as all 28 drivers took to the track in the first session. This afternoon's session will be split with the faster drivers from this morning taking to the track first.

Practice was halted when Andre Ribeiro backed his Marlboro Penske into the wall coming off turn three. Ribeiro slid one hundred yards down the back stretch coming to a stop near the outside wall. The car lost a lot of fluids causing a long caution period to clean up the mess. The car was diapered and delivered to the paddock.

Ribeiro was checked out at the infield care center before he was cleared to drive the spare. Ribeiro ended up 29th and 30th, a second and a half off the pace.

Several drivers radioed the pits about bumps in turn three. This caused speculation that Ribeiro may have lost control after hitting the bumps.

In the Atlantic practice session this morning, both Lynx drivers sit atop the field with Buddy Rice topping his team mate Memo Gidley by two tenths of a second. The Forsythe Racing Players cars sit third and fourth with Tagliani just five one-hundredths faster than Bentham.

Atlantic qualifying begins at 17:30 EST.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Memo Gidley , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Buddy Rice , Andre Ribeiro , Greg Moore