CHAMPCAR/CART: Homestead Friday Track Notes

Good Morning from Homestead-Miami Speedway in sunny South Florida for the first day of practice for Sunday's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota, Round One of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season. This morning's first practice ...

Good Morning from Homestead-Miami Speedway in sunny South Florida for the first day of practice for Sunday's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota, Round One of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season. This morning's first practice session is scheduled for the Green Flag at 10:30 a.m. The full-field session will last 90 minutes. At 2:30 p.m., the FedEx Championship Series teams will again take to the track for the afternoon practice session. The afternoon's practice sessions will be the split-group format with each Group on track for 45 minutes. The fastest drivers from the morning's session will comprise Group Two. Saturday's schedule has the Champ Cars again on-track for practice at 9:45 a.m. and again, the teams will be running the split-group format with each Group on-track for 45 minutes. The fastest drivers from Friday's combined times will again make up Group Two. Qualifying for Sunday's race is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., lasting until 3 p.m. Sunday's schedule has the traditional 30-minute warm-up beginning at 10 a.m. followed by the Green Flag for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota at 2 p.m. (All times are local.) On hand for your media needs from Championship Auto Racing Teams this weekend are Ron Richards, Vice President of Communications; Mike Zizzo, Director of Public Relations; Steve Shunck, Director of Broadcast Public Relations; Merrill Cain, Manager of Broadcast Public Relations; T.E. McHale, News Manager; Tara Martorana, Lifestyle Public Relations Manager, Nate Siebens, New Media Public Relations Manager, Tamara Herrod, Advance Public Relations, and Mark Tate, Pit Note Specialist. Feel free to seek out any of these individuals with any questions that you may have concerning this weekend's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota.

Today's weather is absolutely gorgeous here at Homestead-Miami Speedway, bright blue skies and plenty of sun. And other than the traditional morning Florida five-second showers, the weekend outlook is the old 65-85 exercise with no storms in sight.

The Manufacturers' Forum will continue during the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season. Today's installment will feature the heads of each manufacturer's Champ Car program. Director of Ford Racing Technology Dan Davis will represent Ford and will be joined by Jim Aust, Vice President of Toyota Racing Development; Robert Clarke, General Manager of Honda Performance Development and Paul Ray, Vice President of Ilmor Engineering. The Forum will take place at 1 p.m. today in the interview room.

Morning Practice

GREEN FLAG waves exactly at 10:30 a.m. to start the first CART race weekend of 21st Century as well as the first practice session of the weekend. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 99 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 81 degrees F. at the start of the session.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:37 a.m. to #34 SALLES for a Pit Road speed violation. SALLES subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive-thru penalty.

At 10:40 a.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #1 MONTOYA with a lap of 200.022 mph (27.033 seconds), followed by #3 CASTRO-NEVES (197.617 mph; 27.362 seconds) and #55X KANAAN (195.934 mph; 27.597 seconds).

YELLOW FLAG waves at 10:46 a.m. for a track inspection after CART course observers report debris on the course. CART safety workers quickly clean the track.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:50 a.m. to resume the session.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:54 a.m. to #34 SALLES as CART course observers report a strong smell of gear oil as the car passes the observer stations around the track. SALLES subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag penalty.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 10:55 a.m. after CART course observers again report a strong smell of gear oil, this time from #18 BLUNDELL. BLUNDELL subsequently pits the car with gear oil spilling into the undertray.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:59 a.m. to resume the session.

At 11 a.m., 30 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #6 ANDRETTI with a lap of 203.118 mph (26.621 seconds), followed by #1 MONTOYA (200.415 mph; 26.980 seconds) and #3 CASTRO-NEVES (198.904 mph; 27.185 seconds).

At 11:10 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #6 ANDRETTI with his earlier lap of 203.118 mph (26.621 seconds), followed by #1 MONTOYA (200.415 mph; 26.980 seconds) and #12 VASSER (200.296 mph; 26.996 seconds).

YELLOW FLAG waves at 11:15 a.m. after #33 TAGLIANI spins while entering Pit Road and slides into the Pit Boxes of #55 KANAAN and #25 GARCIA Jr. striking three different individuals. The driver is uninjured in the incident.

Two crew members and a photographer are being treated following the incident in pit lane with Alex Tagliani's car. According to Dr. Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, Kenny Ferris, a mechanic for Mo Nunn Racing, reported lower back pain and was transported by ground to Doctor's Hospital in Coral Gables for precautionary x-rays. According to Olvey, Antonio Pio, starter/outside rear for Arciero Project Racing Group, sustained a laceration and bruise on his lower right leg. He was treated and released from the CART Mobile Medical Facility. According to Dr. David Nateman of Homestead-Miami Speedway, photographer Greg Cacali reported pain in his left elbow and sustained a small and non-serious head contusion and a right ankle sprain. He was transported to Homestead Hospital for precautionary x-rays.

At 11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and under the Yellow flag from the TAGLIANI incident, the top three drivers and speeds are unchanged from the 11:10 a.m. report.

At 11:40 a.m., the top three fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 11:30 a.m. report.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 11:40 a.m. after CART course observers report debris in Turn 3. CART safety workers dispatch to the Turn and begin clean up.

GREEN FLAG waves at 11:44 a.m. to resume the session.

At 11:50 a.m., the fastest driver is still #6 ANDRETTI with his earlier speed of 203.118 mph (26.621 seconds), followed by #11X FITTIPALDI (201.093 mph; 26.889 seconds) and #1 MONTOYA (200.415 mph; 26.980 seconds).

At 11:54 a.m., #32 CARPENTIER logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 203.355 mph (26.590 seconds). CARPENTIER subsequently pits the car.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 11:56 a.m. to #32 CARPENTIER for a Pit Road speed violation incurred at mid-Pit at 11:55 a.m. CARPENTIER was just returning to the track from the Pits. CARPENTIER subsequently re-pits the car to comply with the drive-thru Black Flag penalty.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 12 p.m. to end the first practice session of the weekend with #32 CARPENTIER the fastest driver with his earlier lap of 203.355 mph (26.590 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (203.118 mph; 26.621 seconds) and #11X FITTIPALDI (202.199 mph; 26.742 seconds). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 27 cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #11X FITTIPALDI, #7X PAPIS, #8X BRACK, #18X BLUNDELL, #33X TAGLIANI, #27X FRANCHITTI, #55X KANAAN, and #40X FERNANDEZ. Champ Car drivers totaled 567 laps in this session.

-cart.com-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Robert Clark
Teams Toyota Racing