CHAMPCAR/CART: Mercedes Detroit Practice Report

Race: Detroit Grand Prix, The Raceway at Belle Isle, Detroit Date/Session: June 5, 1998 Friday Practice Greg Moore Second-Quick In Practice on Day One at Detroit Rain Affects Final 30 Minutes of Practice at...

Race: Detroit Grand Prix, The Raceway at Belle Isle, Detroit Date/Session: June 5, 1998 Friday Practice

Greg Moore Second-Quick In Practice on Day One at Detroit Rain Affects Final 30 Minutes of Practice at The Raceway on Belle Isle

Player’s/Forsythe/Indeck Racing driver Greg Moore was second fastest in the opening practice session today at the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix - the eighth round of the 19-race CART FedEx Championship Series. Moore -- second in the FedEx Championship points standings -- was a mere 11 thousandths of a second behind Alex Zanardi on the 2.361-mile Raceway on Belle Isle. Moore’s time was 76.191 seconds (110.848 mph). The engine in Moore’s Player’s/Forsythe Reynard chassis is the Mercedes-Benz IC108E engine, an all-new design for 1998.

Team Alumax’s Helio Castro-Neves notched a lap of 77.334 (109.209 mph) for 8th quickest in a field of 34 entries. The Brazilian driver and protégé of Emerson Fittipaldi leads the CART rookie standings coming off a second place finish at last weekend’s Miller Lite 200 at West Allis, Wis.

Moore’s teammate Patrick Carpentier worked on balancing his race car over the newly revised Belle Isle circuit and finished the rain-shortened session 17th quickest with a lap of 78.414 seconds (107.705 mph).

Mauricio Gugelmin was the 4th-quickest Mercedes-powered entry in the session and 19th overall with a lap of 78.566 seconds (107.497 mph), followed directly by Al Unser, Jr., 20th overall in his Marlboro Team Penske entry at 78.717seconds (107.291 mph).

Mercedes-Benz Driver Quotes:

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player’s Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - Second - 76.191 "Our motor was good and this is the first event for me running the Magneti Marelli system. It all worked very well this morning. Getting a clear lap here is the real key. Our direction is good. We worked on the balance and we moved nicely in the right direction. The setup is a tough compromise though because the new section of the track is bumpy so we have to adapt to it, but still, we can’t lose the setup for the rest of the course."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 16, Team Alumax Reynard/Mercedes/Goodyear - 8th - 77.334 "We’re still improving the setup, but the car is running good right now. We ran that session on old tires. If we had put on new tires we would have been right up at the front. I like this circuit very much. It looks like there will be more places to pass now. It is still very slippery because there is no rubber on the track, and this rain is only making it worse."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player’s Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 17th - 78.414 "We got done most of what we wanted to get done this morning. The track is pretty bumpy in the new section and the car is pitching a bit, but we’re working on that and it’s getting better. We’re pretty happy overall."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, Hollywood Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 19th - 78.566 "The times from that session were really irrelevant. They do not reflect the potential of the team. We’re having trouble getting the car stopped in turn four. We’ve still got work to do, but it seems we’re starting off better than past weekends."

Mark Blundell, No. 18, Motorola Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 23rd - 79.244 "The car underneath me is ill handling. We’ve got to get our heads together and get it sorted out. On my first spin, I lost control of the car under braking. The second spin was similar, in that the rear got violent under braking and spat me into the wall."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Zanardi , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , Al Unser Sr. , Emerson Fittipaldi , Greg Moore