Texaco Grand Prix of Houston - CART Saturday practice October 3, 1998 - Houston, Texas Mike Stucker - Motorsport News International The final practice session for the inaugural CART Texaco Grand Prix of Houston commenced at 9 AM with ambient ...
Texaco Grand Prix of Houston - CART Saturday practice October 3, 1998 - Houston, Texas Mike Stucker - Motorsport News International
The final practice session for the inaugural CART Texaco Grand Prix of Houston commenced at 9 AM with ambient temperature of 81 degrees F, track temperature of 84, and lots of humidity. Early fast drivers on the 1.527 mile (correct by Omega Timing from 1.68 miles) street course were Adrian Fernandez, Alex Zanardi, and Brian Herta, although speeds are under those from Friday's qualifying. Scott Pruitt and Dennis Vitolo are both off in separate incidents at turn 5, both sustain no damage and continue. At 9:21 the track is red flagged so that Vincenzo Sospiri's Eagle, which has lost power on course, can be fetched. The green flag is waved ten minutes later. Paul Tracy is off at turn 5, now named "Big Huevos", but continues with no damage. Fastest driver to this point is Max Papis at 88.852 mph.
Dario Franchitti makes the days first contact at 9:36 when he hit the tire barrier at turn 1. His Reynard incurs slight nose damage. Helio Castro-Neves also does minor damage to his car's nose 15 minutes later in turn 6. Patrick Carpentier, Jimmy Vasser, and Alex Ribeiro will all slide off course with no damage. One hour into practice Mark Blundell is into the tires in turn 7, slightly damaging his side pod. The session is red flagged to clear his car. Fastest driver at this point is Fernandez at 90.272 mph.
Track is back green at 10:06 and Al Unser is soon black flagged for a pit lane speed violation. Mauricio Gugelmin is off in turn 5 and Carpentier off in turn 1, but both continue. The session ends at 10:15 just after Bobby Rahal slides off at turn 1. Castro-Neves finishes with the fastest practice time of the session at 1:00.754 and 90.483 mph.