(Motegi, Japan) -- The PacWest Racing Group's Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell set the 15th and 20th-fastest times respectively today in practice for Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Gugelmin clocked a lap of...
(Motegi, Japan) -- The PacWest Racing Group's Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell set the 15th and 20th-fastest times respectively today in practice for Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
Gugelmin clocked a lap of 26.657 seconds in his #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz while Blundell notched a time of 26.851 seconds in his #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes in practice for the fifth round of the FedEx Championship Series.
Both drivers struggled a little with car balance in both sessions, but are confident they can jump several positions in qualifying if they can find some more car speed.
Mo Nunn Racing's Tony Kanaan was the fast Mercedes-Benz driver with a 26.640-second lap, which put him in 13th position.
Team Rahal's Kenny Brack set the fastest time of the day with a 26.072-second lap and he was followed by Chip Ganassi Racing's Juan Montoya (26.092s) and Jimmy Vasser (26.140s).
MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ
Morning Session: 26.877s -- 11th; Afternoon: 26.657s -- 15th; Combined: 16th "The balance of the car was not that bad," said Gugelmin. "We had a little push going into three and four, but I think we can sort that out tomorrow. "We ran in traffic for a while to see how the car will be in the race, but I did that time without a "tow". "I am not saying we can qualify on the pole tomorrow, but I am confident we can improve several spots and have a reasonable starting position for the race. "We just need to find more car speed."
MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ
Morning Session: 27.449s -- 22nd; Afternoon: 26.851s -- 19th -- Combined: 22nd
"It took us a long time to find the right aero balance, but I think we got it pretty close towards the end of the second session," said Blundell. "Tomorrow morning we will have the chance to work on the mechanical balance and see if we can get everything just right for qualifying. "There is no doubt that we have some work ahead of us, but it is not beyond us."