Barrichello leads USGP opening practices Henzler fastest in first-round Porsche qualifying, American Long is second INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 18, 2004 -- Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Rubens Barrichello was the quickest driver in both...
Barrichello leads USGP opening practices
Henzler fastest in first-round Porsche qualifying, American Long is second
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 18, 2004 -- Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Rubens Barrichello was the quickest driver in both practice sessions June 18 for the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Despite hot, humid conditions, Barrichello turned a lap of 1 minute, 10.365 seconds, 133.265 mph on the 2.605-mile road circuit in the second practice session. He also led the first session with a lap of 1 minute, 11.354 seconds, 131.424 mph.
"It went very good," Barrichello said. "We are very happy with the performance. We still have to do a lot of work in terms of finding the tire and so on."
Cooler, less humid weather and sunny skies are predicted for Saturday and Sunday, which could force teams to make major setup adjustments. Barrichello downplayed the accomplishment of running fastest in Friday practice and said the team is focused on the race.
"It's going to be a busy day tomorrow," he said. "It's going to be a day to find the best setup for the race, but the new tires are working quite well, and that makes me happy because I could go out on both sets of tires and find my best lap of the day-- so I hope it is a perfect start of the weekend."
Lucky Strike BAR Honda team test driver Anthony Davidson was second overall in practice at 1:10.967, 132.135. BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was third at 1:10.982, 132.107 and six-time World Champion and two-time USGP winner Michael Schumacher was fourth at 1:11.036, 132.007.
Jarno Trulli set the track record for F1 qualifying, 1:09.566, during first-round qualifying in September 2003.
The biggest incident of the day in Formula One practice involved Lucky Strike BAR Honda driver Takuma Sato and Sauber Petronas driver Felipe Massa, who made contact diving into Turn 1, causing Sato to spin and forcing both cars off course. Neither driver was injured, and both cars received only minor damage.
Schumacher also had a double-spin during the second practice in his Ferrari but stayed on track and continued.
Wolf Henzler, from Germany, was fastest in the first round of Porsche Michelin Supercup Series qualifying with a lap of 1:36.103, 97.575 mph in the No. 5 Infineon Team Farnbacher PZM entry.
Patrick Long, a 22-year-old resident of Westlake, Calif., confirmed his recent Le Mans 24 Hours class-winning form by qualifying second at 1:36.477, 97.196 in the No. 2 Porsche AG factory entry. Long is driving one of the two Porsche factory cars as a guest driver at this event, along with Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series driver Mark Taylor.
Long is competing at Indy less than one week after being part of the driving team that earned the GT class victory at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. He said driving at two of the world's most prestigious circuits within one week is an amazing experience.
"It's been a special two weeks for me," Long said. "To go to Le Mans for the first time and come out on top is a dream come true. To carry the momentum over here and drive at Indianapolis, which has been a dream of mine since I was a young kid -- it's really a good two weeks.
"My confidence is at an all-time high. Hopefully for the race I can at least keep it on the podium, if not get on the top step. Hopefully, the other drivers will play it smart and realize I'm not here for points. They have nothing to lose except ego, so hopefully they'll know that, and not do anything too stupid since I have nothing to lose."
Long cannot score points in the Porsche Michelin Supercup race as a guest driver.
The Formula BMW USA Championship made its IMS debut with a practice session that led the day's activities. Federico Montoya, the 18-year-old brother of Juan Pablo Montoya, was fastest in the first practice session.
The Formula BMW qualifying session set the grid for the two races scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Each driver's fastest lap set their starting position for the first race, and their second-fastest lap set their starting position for the second race.
Jonathan Summerton, from Kissimmee, Fla., qualified on pole for both events, and Montoya, of Colombia, will start second in both events. Summerton's best lap was 1:37.456, 96.220, and Montoya's best lap was 1:37.769, 95.912.
The Formula BMW series' participation at the Speedway provides several historical notes: Tom Sutherland, a native of Campbell, Calif., will Saturday become the youngest driver to compete at the Speedway. He will be age 15 years, two months and 16 days old.
Graham Rahal, the 15-year-old son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, turned his first laps at IMS in the No. 3 Vitesse Farm Racing entry Friday. He will start 10th in the first race and 12th in the second.
Alexis Fenton, a 21-year-old rookie from New York, will Saturday become only the sixth woman to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She will start 15th in both events.
A busy day of activity on June 19 gets underway at 8 a.m. (EST, local time) with back-to-back Formula One practice sessions. Formula One's pre-qualifying and qualifying sessions take place at noon and 1 p.m., respectively, and Formula BMW USA and the Porsche Michelin Supercup Series conduct their first races of the weekend at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., respectively.
Tickets: Tickets for the United States Grand Prix can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.