Sperafico Paces First Official Practice Rafael Sperafico, the 2001 Barber-CART Rookie of the Year, ended the first day of practice for the opening round of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series by setting the standard for the remaining 22 drivers to...
Sperafico Paces First Official Practice
Rafael Sperafico, the 2001 Barber-CART Rookie of the Year, ended the first day of practice for the opening round of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series by setting the standard for the remaining 22 drivers to shoot for. In the day’s only 30-minute practice session, Sperafico lapped the full 17-turn, 3.7 mile Sebring International Raceway in 2:07.718 sec.
“ I qualified second here last year which was my first Barber Dodge race, so I expect to continue to do well here,” said Sperafico.“ I think the new qualifying format is good because it adds pressure and excitement to the first qualifying session.”
The new format he is referring to is one where the fastest driver in the first qualifying session earns a championship point and guaranteed spot on the front row regardless of the outcome of the final qualifying.
Marc Breuers finished the day second quickest. His best lap was timed at 2:08.117. Fellow American A.J. Allmendinger was third quick, just two-tenths of a second behind Breuers. Both drivers were very pleased with their performance in the opening practice each saying that they have focussed on working through their car set-ups and driving, vowing that more speed was yet to come.
Nilton Rossoni showed that a year’s absence from a racecar has done little to dull his speed. He ended the day fourth overall. Fellow Brazilian Julio Campos, the 2001 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Champion, has been very fast in the pre-event tests, but had to settle for the fifth fastest time in the opening practice.
Davy Cook finished the day with the sixth best time ahead of Barber-CART Big Scholarship winner Leonardo Maia and fellow second-year driver Christian Szymczak. Memo Rojas and Carlos Lievano round out the Top-10.
Barber Dodge drivers will have another 30-minute free practice on Thursday morning before the first qualifying session scheduled for Thursday afternoon.