CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Lausitz Friday notes

PATRICK CARPENTIER THIRD-QUICKEST DURING FRIDAY'S PRACTICE FOR GERMAN 500 CARPENTIER THIRD-FASTEST IN RAIN-DELAYED PRACTICE - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier set the third-fastest lap during Friday's rain-delayed practice for ...

PATRICK CARPENTIER THIRD-QUICKEST DURING FRIDAY'S PRACTICE FOR GERMAN 500

CARPENTIER THIRD-FASTEST IN RAIN-DELAYED PRACTICE - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier set the third-fastest lap during Friday's rain-delayed practice for tomorrow's German 500 at the EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. Carpentier lapped the two-mile, three-turn super speedway in 35.261 seconds, trailing only Tony Kanaan [34.624 seconds] and Alex Zanardi [34.991 seconds]. Thursday's two practice sessions were washed out and Friday's two sessions [9:30am and 1:30am] were also delayed by showers before the cars took to the track for a single two-hour practice session at approximately 3:20pm local time. Qualifying for tomorrow's race was cancelled with the starting grid to be determined by championship points. Consequently, Gil de Ferran will start from the pole, followed by teammate Helio Castroneves and Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack.

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Third fastest during practice -
WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THIS FACILITY? "It's very impressive and I really like it. The racetrack is really smooth and the seating is a lot like a stadium's. It's fun to be here and I think they did a great job."

CAN YOU COMPARE THIS FACILITY TO ANY YOU'VE BEEN TO IN THE PAST? "There's definitely some nice facilities like this in the United States, like Fontana. I think this is similar to Chicago, but the garages are much better than anywhere we go so it's very good."

IS IT STRANGE TO BE DRIVING ON AN OVAL WITH THREE TURNS? "No, I like it and I think it's good. It's a nice oval and they did a great job building this place."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Fourth fastest during Friday practice - "The track here has a very unique shape, but I like it because it's very smooth, very flat and very fast. The three turns are something a bit different, but it's very wide and I expect there to be a lot of passing during the race tomorrow. I thought we had a pretty good car today, especially since we didn't get much time on the track, but we have to fine tune it a bit tonight and we should have a better car for tomorrow."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Seventh fastest during Friday practice -

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE YOUR GRANDFATHER, BRUNO TAGLIANI, HERE WATCHING YOU RACE THIS WEEKEND? "It's pretty good. I don't see him a lot because he lives in Italy and he's very excited to be here. I would've liked to drive in different circumstances but CART decided to run. But I think it's great that they're going to match the total of the prize money and send it to the folks in New York, which is a good thing."

HOW HAS HE CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROGRESSION OF YOUR CAREER? "He bought me my first go kart in Italy before I raced in Canada with my Dad, so he pretty much gave me a taste of what it was like to be a racer."

HAS HE GIVEN YOU ANY POINTERS TODAY? "No, I think he's just taking everything in and enjoying himself. There are a lot of things that have changed since he was a driver, although he only stopped driving [hill racing] last year. There's a lot of technology involved in CART and he's just watching and having a good time."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - 15th fastest during Friday practice - "Definitely the smaller wings are a lot better because they don't give us as much turbulence as we've had in the past. We have to wait for the race tomorrow but I think it's going to be a good show. It's a really, really fast track so it should be really interesting."

WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE TRACK? "It's definitely a very technical track. The corners are flat and very fast so you need a lot of chassis balance to go fast. It was a bit difficult today because we had a lot of understeer in the car. We worked through the session and improved it a lot, but we still had too much at the end of the day. My engineers also told me that we had a pickup problem with the fuel so we had to run a heavy fuel load and we never able to try for a fast lap. It's a very fast, flat track so I think the balance of our chassis will play a very big role tomorrow."

WHAT KIND OF RACE DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE TOMORROW? "It's going to be strange because with not a lot of practice people that got it right on the setup will be fast. I think we learned a lot this afternoon during the two-hour practice and I believe it's going to be something. The track is very, very fast and we didn't have a lot of time to practice on it, so the relationship between the driver and his engineer will be important tomorrow."

IS THERE MORE THAN ONE RACING LINE? "For the moment it's a bit difficult to tell, but I think there will be overtaking on the outside because the track is wide enough."

WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE RACING BACK IN EUROPE? "First of all it's a great to finally take to the track after not practicing for two days. I was back here in Germany in 1995 driving for the Arrows Formula One team and for me it's a great feeling. We're in Europe and racing on an oval, but I just wish we had more time to practice so we could come up with a better car. But we have practice again tomorrow so we'll be alright."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FACILITY HERE AT EUROSPEEDWAY? "The track and the facility is very nice. The track is a lot faster than I thought it would be, but I like it a lot and I think it's going to produce a lot of good racing. I don't know how many [racing] lines there are, but the straights are long enough that you can get some passing. There's a lot less turbulence with this wing package so I think we'll be able to run a lot closer than we normally do."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Patrick Carpentier , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack