CHAMPCAR/CART: Spring Training 98-02-04

Moore Overcomes Heavy Winds to Post Fastest Lap During Opening Day of CART Spring Training (February 4, 1998) -- "Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come," said Moore, who overcame some electronic "gremlins"...

Moore Overcomes Heavy Winds to Post Fastest Lap During Opening Day of CART Spring Training

(February 4, 1998) -- "Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come," said Moore, who overcame some electronic "gremlins" to leap from 25th after the morning practice to first for the day. "We proved last year that we could compete as a team. Ive made a commitment and sacrificed a lot this year to be the best I can be. Patrick [Carpentier, Moores teammate and 1997 CART Rookie of the Year] will drive tomorrow so I wanted to get a little bit of the bragging rights because I think the times will be better [Thursday]. Theres a lot more [car speed] there, for sure. I didnt want to take too many chances today because the wind was so unpredictable.

"I really like this track, I think there will be some good racing here. This track reminds me of a big Milwaukee [where Moore earned his first CART career victory last season], and you know I like Milwaukee."

Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford) was second fastest at 202.406 mph. Andretti, champion of last years Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota, ran only the morning practice, and sat out the blustery afternoon session.

"Nobody learned anything out there today," Andretti said. "We made two runs and we decided to park it for the day and try again tomorrow. They did a great job with the new track layout. Im very happy. They did a great job making two long corners instead of four short corners and also taking the banking out. I think well be able to see some side-by-side running if there arent any marbles."

Rookie JJ Lehto (Hogan Motor Leasing, Inc. Reynard Mercedes) was an impressive third at 201.748 mph, also set in the morning. Like Andretti, he bypassed the afternoon practice.

"Its always difficult in the beginning to be from Europe and drive on the oval circuits," Lehto said. "I have tested here twice earlier and I was fortunate to have [three-time CART champion] Rick Mears with me to help show me the line. The biggest difference on ovals is getting used to the car and the setup, and finding the limits of the car."

Jimmy Vasser (Target Reynard Honda), the 1996 PPG Cup champion, was fourth fastest at 201.545 mph, and rookie Tony Kanaan (LCI Reynard Honda), the defending Indy Lights champion, was fifth at 200.960 mph.

A total of 30 drivers posted practice times for the day. Defending PPG Cup champion Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) was ninth at 199.262 mph.

A second day of practice is scheduled Thursday, with sessions slated from 9-11:45 a.m. and 1:45-4 p.m. ET. CARTs third annual Spring Training will help teams prepare for the FedEx Championship Series, which opens March 15 with the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota at Homestead.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Rick Mears , JJ Lehto