CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green Nazareth Friday Practice Report

NAZARETH, Pa., (April 30, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy was fifth fastest, while his teammate Dario Franchitti was 14th after today's two practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's 225-lap Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix. Tracy's best lap...

NAZARETH, Pa., (April 30, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy was fifth fastest, while his teammate Dario Franchitti was 14th after today's two practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's 225-lap Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix. Tracy's best lap was clocked at 20.186 seconds (168.711 mph) and Franchitti was timed around the 0.946-mile oval in 20.387 seconds (167.048 mph).

Helio Castro-Neves was quickest in today's combined practice, completing a lap in 19.759 seconds (172.357 mph). Mark Blundell was second, relying on his lap of 20.134 seconds (169.147 mph) from this morning. Greg Moore rounded out the Top-3 with a time of 20.142 seconds (169.080 mph), while Juan Montoya was fourth quick, just ahead of Tracy. Tracy's effort was all the more impressive, as he continues to recover from Strep Throat.

Tomorrow's schedule has the 28-car field on track for final practice at 9:00 a.m., with single-car qualifying beginning at 1:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (5th with a lap-time of 20.186 seconds / 168.711 mph) "I'm pretty satisfied with the car Team KOOL Green has given me. We'll just keep working at the setup and compensate as best we can for the new wings we're running here. We'll learn as much as we can and try to make smart decisions with the setup every time. We steadily improved the car throughout the day and I think we could have gone a little faster, but to end up fourth fastest today is good. Of course, we know we'll have to go faster tomorrow."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (1st with a lap-time of 1:01.805 seconds / 106.244 mph) "I'd say as a group Team KOOL Green is reasonably happy with the way the day went. We're playing it pretty conservative right now. We improved the car a little bit from this morning and we'll keep chipping away at it. Tomorrow morning we'll work on our qualifying setup so we should be in good shape for the afternoon qualifying session. But qualifying and the race are two completely different things that require two different setups on the car. It's going to be a difficult race. I was talking with a couple of other drivers, and I don't think anyone has made a pass out there yet."

WHAT TEAM OWNER BARRY GREEN HAD TO SAY:

"It looks to me like things are going well with the new wing. I think all the drivers are behaving well and adapting very well to the new wings, but it's probably a bit early to say. We'll have to see how things go in the race. Qualifying is going to be important, but that's no different than it has been here in the past. This is a tough little race track to pass on, especially when the cars are all so closely-matched. Engineering-wise, everything is going great. Paul and his engineers Tony Cicale and Tino Belli are working and understanding each other better and better, and I think that's showing up in Paul's competitiveness here this weekend. And Dario and his engineer Don Halliday are continuing to work well together."

PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship

Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane was fourth fastest in practice today at Nazareth with a lap of 22.518 seconds (151.125 mph), just 0.156 seconds behind the quickest time. Felipe Giaffone was responsible for that lap, setting the pace with a time of 22.362 seconds (152.294 mph). Oriol Servia was second quick with a lap of 22.382 seconds (152.158 mph), while Scott Dixon was third with a lap of 22.485 seconds (151.461 mph).

JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (4th with a lap-time of 22.518 at 151.125 mph)

"Everyone was on new tires this morning. So, obviously you'll have better times when the tires are brand new. We weren't expecting to go quicker in the afternoon because we used the same tires from this morning. Some guys did go out on new tires and it helped their times. I'd say we've got about 100 miles on that set now.

"You only get 30 minutes in the session. We tried a number of different changes to the car. But, you never know how good they were until you see the data. I'll sit down with the Team KOOL Green engineering staff and figure something out.

I'm very comfortable on the track and I think we're doing quite well. I'd say Turn 2 is the toughest because it's the fastest. In Turn 3, you have to brake quite hard. It's a bit tricky, but I think we'll make up the time in Turn 2."

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Mark Blundell , Jonny Kane , Greg Moore