Notes HOMESTEAD, Fla. â€“ All told it took 29 days, but it turned out to be enough time for the new Arciero Project Racing Group (P.R.G.) and driver Luis Garcia Jr. to start literally from scratch and make it to the Marlboro Grand Prix of ...
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – All told it took 29 days, but it turned out to be enough time for the new Arciero Project Racing Group (P.R.G.) and driver Luis Garcia Jr. to start literally from scratch and make it to the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami.
Garcia, 28, originally from Brasilia, Brazil, but who now makes his home in Aventura, Fla., saved his best time for his last practice lap in the afternoon session. Garcia drove his 1999 Hollywood- Embratel-Tang-Reynard/Mercedes-Benz to a best time of 28.838 seconds (187.503 mph). He improved his times on each of his final four laps.
Prior to today's session, Garcia had only six total laps of testing.
In the morning practice, Arciero P.R.G. crewman Antonio Pio escaped serious injury when the car of Alexandre Tagliani spun out of control in Turn 4, and went into the pit lane. After Tagliani's car hit the stationary car of Tony Kanaan, it ricocheted towards the Arciero P.R.G. pits, hitting Garcia's Reynard, and damaging the right rear wing plate.
Pio had just started Garcia's car when he was hit. Pio, 48, of Indianapolis, was taken to the CART Mobile Medical Facility with a laceration and bruise on his lower right leg. He was released and will be back on the job on Saturday.
They did not practice for the final 20 minutes of the morning session.
"We're getting closer, but we still have some catching up to do. We didn't know if we would be competitive because of the changes we made to the car. We're definitely losing some downforce, but I'm fast on the straightaway. We'll have more information to look over and a lot of thinking to do between now and tomorrow. We'll find something and I think the Hollywood-Embratel Reynard will be in good shape for Saturday." – Luiz Garcia Jr., Driver
"We had a very smooth day. No problems with anything. I'm very proud of our crew. They have put in a lot of 18- hour days to get here and I have to commend Luiz for doing a great job considering it's been several months since he's been in a race car. We're taking this a step at a time. Overall I'd say it was a good day at the office." – Andreas Leberle, Team Manager