CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana: Friday practice report

Alex Tagliani leads CART FedEx Championship Series practice for The 500 Presented by Toyota. FONTANA, Calif. (November 1, 2002) - Alex Tagliani ( ...

Alex Tagliani leads CART FedEx Championship Series practice for The 500 Presented by Toyota.

FONTANA, Calif. (November 1, 2002) - Alex Tagliani (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing paced today's practice for Sunday's CART FedEx Championship Series The 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Rahal finished second, followed by Tony Kanaan (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) of Mo Nunn Racing.

With a fast time of 31.252 seconds at a blistering 233.726 mph, Tagliani remained atop the speed chart after two hours and 45 minutes of combined practice. It was no surprise for the Canadian, who earned the pole position here a year ago with a time of 31.935 seconds at 228.727 mph.

With temperatures hovering around the mid-60s on an overcast California afternoon, the Ford-powered machine of Jimmy Vasser recorded the day's second fastest lap at 31.351 seconds at 232.988 mph to give the blue-oval marque the top-two positions heading into tomorrow's third and final practice session before qualifying. No stranger to the high speeds of the California superspeedway, Vasser is the author of three top-five finishes here, highlighted by a victory in The 500 in 1998. In addition, he qualified on the outside pole in 1997 and '98.

Tony Kanaan's fast time of  31.364  seconds at 232.891 mph from the morning session proved fast enough to hold on to the third fastest spot. Kanaan will look to improve tomorrow at a track where his career-best starting spot is 11th (1999).

CART FedEx Championship Series action from California Speedway kicks off tomorrow with practice from 11:30 -12:30 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying for The 500 Presented by Toyota (SPEED Channel, Live 2:30 p.m. ET).

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Newly-crowned 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series champion Cristiano da Matta is among the open-wheel stars competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernández Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Mo Nunn Racing, Walker Racing and others. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 19-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Tony Kanaan , Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn