CHAMPCAR/CART: Detroit Grand Prix: Friday morning practice notes

By David Schilke - Motorsport.com Detroit, MI - Belle Isle - This is the 20th anniversary of the Detroit Grand Prix and the tenth running at the 2.3 mile circuit on Belle Isle. This will be the last year they run on Belle Isle and it is still...

By David Schilke - Motorsport.com

Detroit, MI - Belle Isle - This is the 20th anniversary of the Detroit Grand Prix and the tenth running at the 2.3 mile circuit on Belle Isle. This will be the last year they run on Belle Isle and it is still uncertain if the Detroit Grand Prix will have anywhere else to go. Talks are having the race at the Michigan State Fair Grounds but as of yet no there has been no clear word on the future of the race.

At the start of Friday morning practice Ford and Honda were not allowed out due to a new rule change they did not follow. The new change is a spacer plate for the pop-off valve that causes the engine to produce less power. The change is a result because of a new design from Honda that allows the engine to produce more boost from the pop-off valve. Honda claims that CART had approved the design for use but early this morning CART made the ruling for the spacer plate, preventing Honda's design from working. Ford and Honda are protesting the ruling stating that there is not enough time to test the new change. Honda did not go out in the morning practice and Ford came late in the practice. Toyota had the new change in before practice started and enjoyed almost an hour of track time without the other manufacturers. Ford made it out on the track but could only post sixth fastest with Patrick Carpentier.

Jimmy Vasser was fastest in the first practice session as he posted a 1:16.305 seconds (110.682mph) lap in the Toyota powered Reynard. Second quick was Christian Fittipaldi in a Toyota/Lola running at 110.420mph. Cristiano da Matta was third with 110.347mph.

Towards the end of practice thirteenth fastest Oriol Servia went into the tire barrier at turn three. The car lost the rear wing and suffered enough damage that a bump start was not possible. Servia was towed back to the pits, which timed out the session.

In the afternoon practice Honda and Ford should have the new rule changes made and be able to have the full time of practice. It will be unclear if Toyota will still hold an advantage over the other two manufactures until the end of the afternoon practice.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Oriol Servia , Cristiano da Matta