CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Mid-Ohio Friday notes

DE FERRAN AND CASTRONEVES FASTEST DURING MID-OHIO PRACTICE - Penske teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were the fastest cars around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday during practice for Sunday's Miller Lite 200. De Ferran set the...

DE FERRAN AND CASTRONEVES FASTEST DURING MID-OHIO PRACTICE - Penske teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were the fastest cars around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday during practice for Sunday's Miller Lite 200. De Ferran set the fastest lap of the day during the afternoon session (1 minute, 6.151 seconds), while Castroneves was second with his lap of 1 minute, 6.234 seconds. Bryan Herta, who was the quickest Ford-powered driver, was sixth-fastest overall with a lap of 1 minute, 7.014 seconds, while Patrick Carpentier was 10th-fastest with his effort of 1 minute, 7.274 seconds.

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Forsythe/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Sixth-fastest during Friday practice

DO YOU THINK THE PENSKES MIGHT BE USING TRACTION CONTROL?

"If they were running traction control I would think it would show up a lot more on a street course or a place where you're really suffering for traction. I hear people saying that, but to me it doesn't make sense. I just think they really have their cars hooked up right now at this place, and they have for the last couple of years."

LOOKING TO TOMORROW, WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET FOR QUALIFYING?

"It's just to go as fast as you can. Qualifying isn't for heavy thinkers; it's go time. You almost shut the noodle off and try not to think too much because you can overthink the situation. That's when you rely on your ability and your talent and your skill and you fall back on those things."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 10th-fastest during Friday practice

AFTER TWO STRAIGHT OVALS, THE SERIES SWITCHES TO ROAD AND STREET COURSES. HOW DOES THAT CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE DOING?

"I think the team has a decent car. We didn't put any new tires on at the end today, but I think we should be close to being up at the front. But man, I don't know what those Penskes have! Every year when we come here they're fast and they're chassis is really hooked up, but we need to work it out a little bit. We've got really good power, but since we changed to that spacer on the popoff valve we seem to be missing right at the end of the gear, right at the top, and it's costing us a little bit right now."

WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVING A GOOD SETUP HERE?

"There's two fast corners and you've got to be fast in those two corners. You need to have good grip in the middle of the long duration corners because all the corners are long and that's the most important. That's contrary to Toronto where you just need to go in fast, turn the car as hard as you can and come out fast and the middle of the corner is not that important."

YOU'VE SCORED A TON OF POINTS IN THE LAST TWO RACES, SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO KEEP THAT MOMENTUM?

"I'm very happy, but I think we're going to have to keep working hard to keep going like this. Hopefully we'll get a good weekend here, but I think we should start in the top five or six and it should be a good race from there."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 13th-fastest during Friday practice

YOU'VE BEEN VERY CONSISTENT RECENTLY, HAVING SCORED CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS IN SIX OF THE LAST SEVEN RACES. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO MAINTAIN THAT PERFORMANCE?

"I want to do the same things. I think I have a very good car now to qualify easily in the top eight or nine cars, and then I'd like to stay there and work our way into the race. It's going to be a very physical race, so if we can stay alive and have a car that's reliable I think we can do pretty good here."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE ON THE VERGE OF MAKING A BIG BREAKTHROUGH?

"You never know. Last year I led races here and there and I've been close to winning races on many occasions, but every piece of the puzzle needs to be in place. I don't think speed alone is going to make you win. I wasn't the fastest in Chicago but I did pretty well. I was one of the fastest in Michigan and I didn't win because of a little problem in the pits, and I think we had the fastest car in Toronto and I finished second because I got beat by strategy. So I think you need to have everything. To be able to predict a win you have to be a magician and be able to control those little things in the race and I don't think anybody can do that. I think the secret to being able to put more chances on your side to get a win is to be consistent, continue to do what we're doing with no mistakes and I think our day will come."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - 15th-fastest during the afternoon session -

"We struggled a little bit in the morning but I think we made good progress in the afternoon. We had a little bit of a brake problem here at the end of the afternoon session so we didn't go out on new tires, but I think we have a car good enough for the top five."

WHAT THOUGHT WENT INTO SPLITTING YOU AND MAX [PAPIS] IN THE PIT LANE THIS WEEKEND?

"We had a bit of a rough weekend in Chicago and it's crucial here where the pit lane is uphill and there's a bit of a bend to it, so we split the team up and we're at different positions."

DID YOU GET A GOOD LOOK AT THE PENSKES TODAY? DO THEY HAVE SOMETHING GOING FOR THEM THROUGH THE TURNS?

"It seems like that if you look at the stopwatch, but you can't see anything. They were fast here last year and I think that we're better than we look because didn't go out on new tires. We're not as fast as them, but I think we're top five right now, which is a good base to work from for tomorrow."

-Ford racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Patrick Carpentier , Bryan Herta