CHAMPCAR/CART: Homestead Saturday Press Notes

MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI PRESENTED BY TOYOTA FedEx Championship Series Press Notes – Saturday, March 14, 1998 Good morning and welcome to qualifying day for Sunday's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. FedEx...

MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI PRESENTED BY TOYOTA FedEx Championship Series Press Notes – Saturday, March 14, 1998 Good morning and welcome to qualifying day for Sunday's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. FedEx Champ Car activities this morning will begin with a 75-minute practice session at 9 a.m. followed by this afternoon's first round of qualifying at 1:15 p.m. The qualifying session will last 90 minutes. Keith Allo, CART vice president of television, has issued the following statement in regard to European television revenues: "Recently it has come to CART's attention that statements attributed to Mr. Karel Van Miert, the European Competition Minister, has suggested that CART pays part of its European television revenues to the Federation Internationale du Automobile (FIA). CART wishes to make it clear that neither CART, nor any of its broadcast partners, make any such payments to the FIA." Arciero-Wells and Precision Preparation Inc. announced Friday that ROBBY GORDON has been chosen to assume the driving duties for HIRO MATSUSHITA. MATSUSHITA announced his retirement yesterday. GORDON, of Orange, Cal. will debut with the team at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota at Nazareth Speedway on April 26, 1998. GORDON became a test and development driver for the Southern California-based team in January of this year. "We are pleased to nominate Robby to drive as Hiro's replacement in the Panasonic-Duskin Arciero-Wells Toyota at Nazareth," said Cal Wells. "With Robby driving it is an opportunity for us to continue Hiro's commitment to the sport." "I've been looking forward to racing again in CART," said Gordon. "My last competitive race was in CART at Fontana last year. Coming home with Toyota, Cal Wells, and Frank Arciero at my side is really something special. The past few months, I've been doing a lot of testing for Toyota, but there's nothing like real competition." GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the morning practice session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 77 degrees F and an ambient temperature of 67 degrees F as the first cars take to the track. YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:02 a.m. after #99 MOORE stalls on the backstretch. GREEN FLAG waves at 9:06 a.m. to resume the morning session. YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:11 a.m. after #8 HERTA stalls on track. CART safety workers tow the car back to the pit area. GREEN FLAG waves at 9:15 a.m. to resume the morning session. At 9:15 a.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #40 FERNANDEZ with a lap of 211.698 mph (25.542 seconds), followed by #1X ZANARDI (210.799 mph; 25.651 seconds) and #5 DE FERRAN (210.103 mph; 25.736 seconds).

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Series IndyCar