CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Herta Fast in Friday Practice

Laguna Seca (September 11, 1998) - Bryan Herta, who has been on the front row for each of the three FedEx Championship Series events he has run here, was fastest in Friday morning practice as the Champ Cars began preparations for the Honda Grand...

Laguna Seca (September 11, 1998) - Bryan Herta, who has been on the front row for each of the three FedEx Championship Series events he has run here, was fastest in Friday morning practice as the Champ Cars began preparations for the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Texaco/Havoline 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Herta, who holds the track qualifying record with a time of 1:07.895 on the 2.238-mile permanent road course, turned a 1:08.568, 117.501 mph lap in sunny and warm conditions to pace the 28 cars on hand for this weekend's 16th round of the FedEx Series.

The session ended on an exciting and controversial note when Herta and Alex Zanardi, who clinched the series title and PPG Cup last weekend, came together as they exited the first turn in the legendary "corkscrew," and Herta's Shell Reynard Ford limped back into the pits with a broken left front suspension. The contact rekindled memories of the incident in which Zanardi dove under Herta on the final lap to take the lead and win the 1996 race at this Central California track. CART Officials were reviewing the incident following the session.

Zanardi was second-quickest at 1:09.166, 116.485 mph in the No. 1 Target Reynard Honda, while the Italian's teammate Jimmy Vasser, who announced a three-year contract extension with Target Chip Ganassi Racing Tuesday, was third at 1:09.387, 116.114 mph in the No. 12 Target Reynard Honda.

Fourth-fastest was Brazilian Tony Kanaan, the leader in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year points standings, who turned a 1:09.565, 115.817 lap in the LCI Reynard Honda while fifth was the USA's Michael Andretti in the Kmart Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford with a 1:09.588, 115.779 mph circuit.

Christian Fittipaldi, Mark Blundell, Greg Moore, Mauricio Gugelmin and Dario Franchitti, who has won the last two champ car events, rounded out the top 10.

This afternoon's provisional qualifying session begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. Sunday's race is set for a 3 p.m. Eastern time start and will be broadcast live on ESPN in the U.S. and to more than 190 countries worldwide. The race will also be broadcast nationally on the CART Radio Network.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Mark Blundell , Chip Ganassi , Greg Moore
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing