CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston Walker Racing Review

RACE REVIEW: HOUSTON GIL DE FERRAN ...

RACE REVIEW: HOUSTON

GIL DE FERRAN # 5 VALVOLINE/CUMMINS - HONDA/REYNARD/GOODYEAR

NAOKI HATTORI (R) # 15 ALPINE - HONDA/REYNARD/GOODYEAR

What: Texaco Grand Prix of Houston, Round eighteen of the 20-races FedEx Championship Series for the PPG Cup.

When: Sunday, September 26th, 1999

Weather: Partly cloudy, humid, 87-degrees F

Attendence: The Texaco Grand Prix of Houston announced a three-day crowd of 101,156 Champ Car fans attended this weekend's activities in downtown Houston.

Derrick Walker -Team Owner:" Houston, The weekend look promising at the start, Gil and Naoki qualifying so well, both in the front four rows. However our complete race strategy was one of defense, protecting the tires through out the race became our only focus, not only! Both drivers sampled the rather rough driving of Scott Pruett who took Naoki out of the race and damaged Gil's car to the point we crawling around to the end.."

GIL de FERRAN # 5 Valvoline/Cummins/Walker Racing Honda Started 6th, finished 17th

Gil de Ferran Struggled all day with tire problems, but hung on to finish 17th, two laps off the pace "While the tires stayed under me, it was fun. But the tires went away fast and after that I was just hanging on. The last dozen or so laps was a real struggle, the car was all over the place. I could hardly accelerate out of the corners without the car going sideways on me."

NAOKI HATTORI #15 Alpine/Walker Racing Honda Started 7th, finished 22nd

Naoki Hattori: A crash sidelined Naoki Hattori after a promising 7th place qualifying effort from the Walker Racing rookie on Saturday. "The car felt good at the start, but once the tires gave up it was terrible. Finally, Scott Pruett hit me from behind and I hit the wall. It took off the front wing and the damage was too much to repair. But I learned more this weekend about racing on street circuits and qualifying seventh was a good effort and a credit to my team."

Friday, September 24, 1999

Session Times: Practice Friday Morning Pos. Driver Car# Car Config. Lap Time Lap Speed B.Leader 13 Gil de Ferran 5 Honda/RI/G 62.583 87.839 0.827 29 Naoki Hattori 15 Honda/RI/G 64.291 85.505 2.535

Pit Notes: BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:48 a.m. to #5 de FERRAN for a Pit Road speed violation. DE FERRAN subsequently pits the car to comply with the drive-thru Black Flag penalty.BLACK FLAG is shown at 11:52 a.m. to #15 N. HATTORI for a Pit Road speed violation. HATTORI subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty. BLACK FLAG is again shown at 11:54 a.m. to #15 N. HATTORI for a Pit Road speed violation at Pit In. HATTORI subsequently pits the car again to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

Session Times: Qualifying Friday Afternoon Pos. Driver Car# Car Config. Lap Time Lap Speed B.Leader 5 Naoki Hattori 15 Honda/RI/G 60.342 91.101 0.458 10 Gil de Ferran 5 Honda/RI/G 60.632 90.665 0.748

Naoki Hattori: (5th fastest): his best qualifying run since breaking his leg at Homestead. "This morning, we struggled somewhat with the brakes and rear grip. The car still oversteered in qualifying, but not as much as this morning. I got a clear lap on my second set of tires and had good traction coming out of the corners. That is what moved us up the grid. The track will continue to improve, so we have to keep up our performance for tomorrow."

Gil de Ferran: (10th fastest): "You have a pretty small window of opportunity here, to get a clear lap while your tires are still at their best. I had one clear lap, but I didn't do a particularly good one."

Pit Notes: At 2:40 p.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #26 TRACY with a lap of 90.717 mph (1:00.597), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (90.361 mph; 1:00.836) and #5 de FERRAN (90.159 mph; 1:01.972). Also at 2:57 p.m., #5 de FERRAN spins at Turn 3 but keeps the motor running and continues on course to his Pit Area without apparent damage to the car. BLACK FLAG is shown at 3:38 p.m. to #15 N. HATTORI for a Pit Road speed violation. HATTORI subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive-thru penalty.

Saturday, September 25, 1999

Session Times: Practice Saturday Morning Pos. Driver Car# Car Config. Lap Time Lap Speed B.Leader 13 Gil de Ferran 5 Honda/RI/G 60.882 90.293 0.944 25 Naoki Hattori 15 Honda/RI/G 62.819 87.509 2.881

Session Times: Qualifying Saturday Afternoon Pos. Driver Car# Car Config. Lap Time Lap Speed B.Leader 6 Gil de Ferran 5 Honda/RI/G 59.411 92.528 0.712 7 Naoki Hattori 15 Honda/RI/G 59.569 92.283 0.870

Gil de Ferran: (qualified 6th): "Just a so-so day, really, about the same as yesterday. The back end of the car is hopping around too much on the bumps here. We need to do a better job of keeping the rear tires on the ground."

Naoki Hattori: (Qualified 7th ) "This morning we worked on our race settings and found a good combination, I think. We put Friday's qualifying setup back on our car today and it made the car more nervous and more difficult to drive, but it also made it faster," said Hattori, after running a lap of 59.569 seconds in the Alpine Reynard/ Honda/ Goodyear. "Of course I am very pleased with the result."

Pit Notes:: The top seven qualifiers represented seven different countries including Colombia (Montoya), the United States (Herta), Canada (Tracy), Scotland (Dario Franchitti), Italy (Max Papis), Brazil (Gil de Ferran) and Japan (Naoki Hattori), respectively. Hattori's start is a career best. The top eight drivers were separated by less than one second and top 20 were separated by fewer than two.

Sunday, September 26, 1999.

Session Times: Warm-up Sunday Morning Pos. Driver Car# Car Config. Lap Time Lap Speed B.Leader 8 Gil de Ferran 5 Honda/RI/G 61.852 88.877 0.464 24 Naoki Hattori 15 Honda/RI/G 63.034 87.210 1.646

Session Times: Race Sunday Afternoon Fin.Pos.Driver Car# Car Config. Best Lap Time Lap Speed 17 Gil de Ferran 5 Honda/RI/G 62.436 88.045 (-2 Laps RUNNING) 15 Naoki Hattori (R) 15 Honda/RI/G 62.728 87.636 (-43 Laps CONTACT)

Pit Stops Gil de Ferran Car # 5 Sunday Race Pit Lap Track Status Position before Position after Pit Times 1 14 Yellow 4 20 49.478 2 50 Green 15 18 51.270 Total for 2 Pit Stops 100.748

Pit Stops Naoki Hattori Car # 15 Sunday Race Pit Lap Track Status Position before Position after Pit Times 1 46 Green 23 23 51.753 2 57 Green 20 20 ---.--- + Total for 2 Pit Stops 51.753 +

Sunday Pit notes: On Lap 3, seventh-place starter HATTORI loses two spots and falls to ninth place.On Lap 9, #5 de FERRAN passes #27 FRANCHITTI on the inside of Turn 5 and takes over fifth place. YELLOW FLAG flies on Lap 58 after #15 HATTORI loses the nose and front wing from his car at Turn 2. The assembly is laying right in the middle of the groove.

Gil de Ferran - 1999 Driver Index Report - Car # 5

Race Qualify Start Finish Race Points Total Rank Miami - Homestead NQ 25th 6th 8 8 6th Motegi - Japan 1st 1st 2nd 1+16 25 3RD Long Beach - California 7th 7TH 6TH 8 33 2ND Nazareth - Pennsylvania 13th 13TH 15TH 0 33 7TH Rio - Brazil 4th 4TH 10TH 3 36 7TH Madison - Illinois 15th 15TH (dnf) 0 36 7TH Milwaukee - Wisconsin 16th 16TH 3RD 14 50 7TH Portland - Oregon 3rd 3RD 1ST 21 71 3RD Cleveland - Ohio 2nd 2nd 2nd 16 87 2nd Elkhart Lake - WI 3rd 3rd (dnf)14th 0 87 3rd Toronto - Canada 1st 1st (dnf)19th 0 88 5th Michigan - MI 15th 15th (dnf)24th 0 88 7th Detroit - MI 3rd 3rd (dnf)22nd 0 88 8th Mid-Ohio - OH 6th 6th 6th 8 96 7th Chicago - IL 19th 19th 13th 0 96 7th Vancouver, CA 7th 7th 26th (dnf) 0 96 7th Laguna Seca 9th 9th 6th 8 104 7th Houston 6th 6th 17th 0 104 8th

Naoki Hattori - 1999 Driver Index Report - Car # 15

Race Qualify Start Finish Race Points Miami - Homestead 12th 12th (dnf)25th 0 Detroit-Michigan 26th 26th 16th 0 Mid-Ohio - OH 23rd 23rd 19th 0 Vancouver, CA 23rd 23rd (dnf)27th 0 Laguna Seca 25th 25th 14th 0 Houston 7th 7th (dnf)22nd 0

1999 Cart Point Leaders: (after 18 of 20 races): 1. Juan Montoya - 200; 2. Dario Franchitti - 187; 3. Paul Tracy - 155; 4. Michael Andretti - 141; 5. Max Papis - 117; 6. Christian Fittipaldi - 107; 7. Adrian Fernandez - 106; 8. Gil de Ferran - 104; 9. Greg Moore - 97; 10. Jimmy Vasser - 94; 11. Tony Kanaan - 76; What's next: The FedEx Championship Series continues with its final international event of the season, the Honda Indy 300 on Sunday, Oct.17, on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Pruett , Naoki Hattori , Greg Moore