CHAMPCAR/CART: Franchitti Tests at Portland

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Team KOOL Green continued its record pace this week with Dario Franchitti lapping under the track record in testing at Portland International Raceway. Franchitti posted a best time of 57.77s, more than 1.6s...

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Team KOOL Green continued its record pace this week with Dario Franchitti lapping under the track record in testing at Portland International Raceway. Franchitti posted a best time of 57.77s, more than 1.6s quicker than the lap record established by Scott Pruett in qualifying for last year's Portland CART race. Franchitti's performance came just a week after Paul Tracy set an unofficial lap record for Nazareth Speedway in the KOOL Reynard-Honda. The test began on Wednesday with Franchitti running a total of 118 miles andturning a best time of 59.0s, more than .8s quicker than his qualifying lap for last year's race. Team KOOL Green ran a total of 153 miles on a Thursday devoted principally to Firestone tire tests, with Franchitti lapping at 58.1s on control tires before switching to development tires and posting a best lap of 57.77s. "The car was very good right out of the box and we improved it throughout the test," Franchitti said. "We had a tremendous amount of grip, more thanI could use really. The Firestone development tires were very strong; they've taken another step in the right direction. "Portland was another excellent test. It was another chance for me to continue to develop my relationship with the Team KOOL Green mechanics and engineers, and the team is really coming together. Don Halliday (technical director/chief engineer) and I have developed a great language; we're to the point where when I say what the car is doing Don immediately understands and very quickly makes changes to improve its performance." Like Franchitti, Halliday was pleased with the test. "We went to Portland with the goal of endorsing the ideas we'd developed for our road course set-up during pre-season testing," he said. "We accomplished our objective. Now we can focus on the next few oval track events before going into the road and street course portion of the schedule in a confident frame of mind." Following the Portland test, Team KOOL Green returned to its Indianapolis shop to complete preparations for Round Four of CART's FedEx Championship at Nazareth Speedway, April 24-26.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Pruett