CHAMPCAR/CART: Kenny Brack surprises in Toronto practice

Kenny Brack left it right until his final timed lap to depose longtime fastest man Cristiano da Matta from the top of the time sheets with a stunning lap of 59.614 in his Target Chip Ganassi racing Lola Toyota. Up until Brack's final timed lap, it...

Kenny Brack left it right until his final timed lap to depose longtime fastest man Cristiano da Matta from the top of the time sheets with a stunning lap of 59.614 in his Target Chip Ganassi racing Lola Toyota. Up until Brack's final timed lap, it looked likely that da Matta would be the dominant force of the opening practice session for the Molson Indy Toronto.

It took 45-minutes of today's first 90-minute practice session for the Newman/Haas Lola Honda team to show their hand. After along spell in the pits, championship leader Cristiano da Matta was on track and quickly moved to the top of the time sheets in his Lola Toyota with a best lap time of 59.614. To underline the pace of the Newman/Haas chassis/engine package, Christian Fittipaldi was soon second fastest but was unable to get within three-tenth of a second of his team leader.

However, none of this mattered when Brack pulled his fastest lap out of the bag. This weekend the Swede knows he has to perform if he is to have a chance of title honors. Hopefully this challenge can be sustained throughout the weekend.

Tony Kanaan was fourth fastest and like Brack, moved well up the order during the dying seconds of the session. The Mo Nunn driver is hoping for a change of luck this weekend and his pace so far indicates that the unfortunate Brazilian may well be in the hunt.

Dario Franchitti was fifth fastest in his KOOL entry ahead of Alex Tagliani in the Players car. Paul Tracy was eight fastest and seemed to be struggling to get the back end to lay down the Honda power as he wanted.

Shinji Nakano was a credible eighth fastest overall in his Fernandez entry while the boss himself was 12th fastest overall. Nakano will be keen to show well this weekend following his good result last time out in Chicago as he is unlikely to be retained by the Fernandez team in 2003 and needs to show his pace to potential employers.

Jimmy Vasser was ninth fastest in his Rahal car ahead of Bruno Junqueira in the second Ganassi entry and Junqueira will certainly be expecting better than this come the first qualifying session later on today.

Patrick Carpentier was 11th fastest in the second Players entry ahead of Fernandez and Michel Jourdain Jr who suffered a Cosworth engine problem that brought out the only red flag of the session.

Townsend Bell was 14th fastest in his Patrick Reynard Toyota ahead of Mario Dominguez and Scott Dixon in the third Ganassi car. Last year's winner Michael Andretti was just 17th ahead of Tora Takagi.

Qualifying gets underway in Toronto at 2.10pm ET.

-Courtesy of CART-Racing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Tora Takagi , Shinji Nakano , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain , Mo Nunn