Fittipaldi Qualifies Fifth at Homestead in Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 3 -Christian Fittipaldi wasted no time in getting up to speed during Daytona Prototype qualifying Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a...
Fittipaldi Qualifies Fifth at Homestead in Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54
HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 3 -Christian Fittipaldi wasted no time in getting up to speed during Daytona Prototype qualifying Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a move which paid off handsomely for the Key Biscayne, Fla. resident when the session was cut short.
Fittipaldi ended up with the fifth-fastest time in the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 that he shares with Hialeah, Fla. native Terry Borcheller with a lap in 1:15.768 (109.281 mph). Fittipaldi will start on the inside of row three when the green flag drops on tomorrow's Miami Grand Prix Rolex series race, which will be broadcast live on SPEED starting at 3 p.m.
It was a great result for the Bell Motorsports team, which is headquartered in nearby Tavernier, Fla.
The day's schedule was altered due to damp track conditions in the morning. The Rolex series cars can run in the rain but the Indy Racing League cars that share the card here this weekend cannot.
The practice time lost by the IRL cars Friday morning due to the weather influenced race officials to call the Rolex series' Daytona Prototype session short when two cars got off course during the qualifying session.
That ended up being great for Fittipaldi, although one of those cars got off course right in front of him, dragging dirt onto the track surface.
"Our car was oversteering some, but only about half of what we started with yesterday, so we've made progress," Fittipaldi said after the qualifying session. "During qualifying our tires were not up to temperature yet, but everybody was suffering from that and everybody had that same complaint.
"We were the fourth car in line to go out, and I just thought I better try to lay a quick lap down right away, and it worked. We'll take fifth. When qualifying was cut short it really worked to our advantage. All in all, we'll take it. It's a lot better to start fifth than say 13th.
"I've been on both sides of this situation," he continued. "I've seen the officials cut short the support series' qualifying time before when weather played a factor like it did today. I knew that if somebody got into the wall, they'd shut our session down. So I thought I'm going to try to get a lap in here right away, and it worked out.
"The 02 ran out of track going into turn two right in front of me, and sent a lot of dirt up onto the track. Some other cars got off course to miss him, but I never went off on the grass. There was just a lot of stuff on the track."
Darren Law won the pole for Brumos Racing. A car similar to the Kodak EasyShare car, the Doran Racing DORAN JE4, was second.
For more information, Feeds the Need Racing's Web site is at www.feedstheneedracing.com. The Grand American section of Kodak's Web site at www.Kodak.com/US/en/consumer/garr/.
Fittipaldi's Web site is at www.fittipaldionline.com and Borcheller's is at www.tborcheller.com. Other interesting information can be found at www.grandamerican.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.