The first day of practice for the Firestone Firehawk 600 saw Team Rahal's Kenny Brack top the speed charts with a fast lap of 233.785 mph on the high banked tri-oval of Texas Motor Speedway. Brack is the only driver in CART with prior racing ...
The first day of practice for the Firestone Firehawk 600 saw Team Rahal's Kenny Brack top the speed charts with a fast lap of 233.785 mph on the high banked tri-oval of Texas Motor Speedway. Brack is the only driver in CART with prior racing experience on the TMS track having raced there five times in the Indy Racing League. The experience paid off as Brack climbed to the top of the speed charts early and despite some mechanical problems he kept the car among the leaders all day.
Max Papis piloted the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth Lola to the eighth fastest time with a lap of 231.683 mph, also in the afternoon session.
Max Papis (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "This place is fast. We are flat (on the throttle) all the way around. This is the most physical oval track that we'll race on this year. By the halfway point of the race, a driver better be in good shape to finish. The banking is so great that it pulls your body with the G-Forces. It was like my F-16 ride I took in Ohio (outside of Toledo in 1999). It's pulling my stomach, my arms and even the skin on my face to the right. It's very difficult for a driver. But I like this track. It is fun. I think the entry to the corners is a little too tight for our Champ Cars but we'll get use to it for the race. I felt very comfortable with our Miller Lite car. We ran a lot of laps with a lot of fuel and in traffic. It seems good to me."
Kenny Brack (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "I think the race will be very competitive. We knew this place would be fast but I think you'll see some good racing. We tried to get in some long runs this afternoon but the car had a little vibration so we sat out the end of the session. We had a fuel pump problem in the morning, but we got that fixed pretty quickly. I think it will take a speed of 232 or 233 for the pole. I think there was a lot of drafting today with those speeds. I thought there would be more turbulence with the champ cars than the IRL cars but that didn't happen. I thought because of the big Handford device (on the rear wing) that the turbulence would really affect the cars. But I think we can run groups and draft. We'll race here like we did at Michigan and Fontana. A lot of side-by-side racing and overtaking. I want to thank the track people for the improvements on the track surface. It was much bumpier in December when we came here for CART and testing. We ran last year's Reynard. But now the bumps are not bad. There were shaved down. The track has done a fantastic job to help us. "