CHAMPCAR/CART: Cool temps for first practice at Long Beach

Christian Fittipaldi set the fast time in the first CART series practice at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with a 1:09.478. His Newman-Haas Racing teammate, Cristiano da Matta was second fastest at 1:09.629. Walker Racing's Tora Takagi was a ...

Christian Fittipaldi set the fast time in the first CART series practice at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with a 1:09.478. His Newman-Haas Racing teammate, Cristiano da Matta was second fastest at 1:09.629. Walker Racing's Tora Takagi was a surprising third at 1:09.706.

Kenny Brack set the early pace in the session with a time of 1:11.036, with Townsend Bell second. Forty-five minutes into the session, Fittipaldi was the first driver to go quicker than 1 minute, 11 seconds with a 1:10.971 time. Then things got busy with first Michel Jourdain Jr., then Brack, da Matta and Brack again lowering the fast time to a 1:10.102. Fifteen minutes later, the times started falling again, with Brack going another tenth of a second faster before Vasser broke into the 1:09s with a 1:09.997. The Newman-Haas team members then put their stamp on the session with first da Matta then Christian Fittipaldi setting fast time.

With twenty-five minutes remaining in the session, Paul Tracy expressed some frustration as he and his Team Kool Green teammate Dario Franchitti were two seconds behind the faster teams: "This is as fast as we're going to go. The balance is good but we don't have any grip." Tracy said. Just then, Franchitti spun at the end of the back straight, causing the red flag to wave the session to a halt. A few minutes after the track returned to green, Tracy locked up and slid into the runoff area at turn 1. He stalled trying to turn around bring out another red flag. Just as the red waved, Tagaki put up the sixth-fastest time, 1:10.306.

The last ten minutes of the session were fairly uneventful, with Oriol Servia, Bruno Junqueira, Tony Kanaan and Townsend Bell posting top ten times, and Tora Takagi jumping up to third.

Toyota Atlantic Series - Practice

Rookie Toyota Atlantic series driver Jon Fogarty topped the time charts in the first on-track session at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Twenty-seven cars were on course during this first session with veteran Atlantic drivers Joey Hand and Michael Valiente filling out the top three. Following those three were rookies Ryan Dalziel and Ryan Hunter-Reay and second year driver Alex Gurney.

The green track surface and cool, overcast weather made for slippery going for the Atlantic drivers, so the teams couldn't get a good read on the conditions they will be seeing in their qualifying session after the lunch break.

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About this article
Series Atlantic , IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Bruno Junqueira , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Tora Takagi , Kenny Brack , Jon Fogarty , Townsend Bell , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain