HOUSTON, TX . . . Scattered rain showers limited the afternoon practice on the first day of the Texaco-Havoline Grand Prix of Houston (Sunday ESPN 2:00-4:00 PM. Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis were able to post the seventh and 17th...
HOUSTON, TX . . . Scattered rain showers limited the afternoon practice on the first day of the Texaco-Havoline Grand Prix of Houston (Sunday ESPN 2:00-4:00 PM. Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis were able to post the seventh and 17th fastest times respectively during the dry morning session. Brack, the CART points leader, piloted the Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola to the seventh fastest lap in the morning with a lap of 89.127 mph. Brack was third quickest in the afternoon session but the wet conditions left his quick lap considerably slower. Max Papis, the Miller Lite driver, is looking for this third top-five result in this the fourth year of the Grand Prix of Houston. Papis posted the 17th fastest time in the morning with a lap of 88.197 mph as the Miller team addressed some handling problems. In the rain Papis posted the 12th fastest lap of the afternoon session.
Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "It was very difficult grip out there today -- at first on a dirty track in the morning and then in the rain in the afternoon. But it was the same for everybody. We tried some things in the rain that took us in the wrong direction. We were in the top ten in most of the morning before we hit traffic and didn't get a chance for a real quick lap. The weather could really make a big difference on Saturday. We've gone well in the rain before here when we finished fifth in 1998 with the Toyota. And then we were fourth in the Miller car in 1999 in the dry. I am disappointed that we are again in the slow qualifying group this weekend after we were fast at Vancouver. I don't think it is fair to separate the qualifying sessions since the second group always has a better track. But those are the rules and we have to live by them."
Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "We didn't have such a good balance in the car this morning. In the rain, we were okay. It seems that we go well in the rain (pole at Road America) everywhere. But we still have a little bit of work to do. We understand what is going on with the car. I touched the wall lightly in the rain but the car was fine. Our Shell guys have put in a lot of work with the Lola engineers and we are trying a few new pieces. We've had a good road setup since the beginning of the year (pole at Mexico - season opener). But our results haven't been good. Now it's the time to get those good results. I think the rain didn't help a lot of people for Saturday's qualifying. We are all in the same situation entering Saturday. It's a green track and we'll have to get more rubber on the pavement."