CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Honda Racing Report

<pre> Honda Racing Report Friday, June 2, 2000 Miller Lite 225 Practice Report Circuit: Milwaukee Mile (1.0 mile oval), Milwaukee, WI 1999 Winner: Paul Tracy (Honda) 120.225 mph race average speed 1999 Pole: Juan Montoya ...

<pre> Honda Racing Report Friday, June 2, 2000

Miller Lite 225 Practice Report Circuit: Milwaukee Mile (1.0 mile oval), Milwaukee, WI 1999 Winner: Paul Tracy (Honda) 120.225 mph race average speed 1999 Pole: Juan Montoya (Honda) 173.755 mph Weather: Partly cloudy, cool, 63-degrees F

Friday Practice Times:

Ps.   Driver                    Manufacturer            Time            Speed
  1.  Gil de Ferran             Honda                   21.389 sec.     173.697 mph
  2.  Michael Andretti          Ford Cosworth           21.404 sec.     173.575 mph
  3.  Helio Castro-Neves        Honda                   21.449 sec.     173.211 mph
  4.  Mauricio Gugelmin         Mercedes-Benz           21.468 sec.     173.058 mph
  5.  Paul Tracy                Honda                   21.588 sec.     172.096 mph
  6.  Adrian Fernandez          Ford Cosworth           21.588 sec.     172.096 mph
  7.  Juan Montoya              Toyota                  21.602 sec.     171.984 mph
  8.  Dario Franchitti          Honda                   21.637 sec.     171.706 mph
  9.  Patrick Carpentier        Ford Cosworth           21.650 sec.     171.603 mph
10.  Tony Kanaan                Mercedes-Benz           21.650 sec.     171.524 mph
11.  Christian Fittipaldi       Ford Cosworth           21.682 sec.     171.350 mph
12.  Kenny Brack                Ford Cosworth           21.683 sec.     171.342 mph
23.  Shinji Nakano              Honda                   22.494 sec.     165.164 mph

</pre> De Ferran Leads the Field at Milwaukee

Gil de Ferran continues to be the man to beat on the short tracks of the CART FedEx Championship Series circuit, as the Honda driver and winner of last week’s race at Nazareth Speedway led the field today in practice for this weekend’s Miller Lite 225.

De Ferran and his Penske Honda teammate Helio Castroneves ended the day first and third on the speed charts, with Paul Tracy’s Team KOOL Green Honda fifth quickest, just two-tenths of a second back. Although Castroneves tested here earlier this year with the Penske team, today was de Ferran’s first time back at the Milwaukee Mile since last year’s race.

Dario Franchitti started the day off strongly, running fourth quickest in the morning session, but fell back in the afternoon with handling problems to finish the day eighth overall. Returning to the scene of his March testing crash, Walker Racing and rookie driver Shinji Nakano are still working to establish a good balance on their Honda-Reynard.

After a final practice session tomorrow morning, single-car qualifying is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. EDT, with same-day television coverage on ESPN-2.

GIL de FERRAN (#2 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) Fastest in practice today, winner last week at Nazareth Speedway: “I like coming here. Just like Nazareth, this is one of the most challenging ovals we race on, and the difficulty is what makes this place special. We spent most of today working on our race setup, and we ran a lot of laps (100 in the afternoon session alone). But at the end we were able to go for a time and we lucked out with traffic and cut a pretty good time, I thought!”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) 3rd fastest today, scored his first CART pole here last year: “We unloaded off the truck pretty fast. I’m sure that’s the result of a good test we had here earlier this year. We ran exactly the same setup and the car felt really good. This afternoon we ran a race simulation, more than 120 laps (124 laps total), because it’s tough to keep the balance here. But we still managed a fast time, so that’s encouraging for both qualifying and the race on Sunday. ”

PAUL TRACY (#26 Team KOOL Green Honda) 5th fastest, defending ’99 race winner: “We started out slow this morning, because of the crash we had in testing here (in May). This afternoon, we worked on a qualifying package and got good speed out of the car, then went back to preparing for the race. You’ve got to keep the back end of the car solid on the ground for the entire race. You can’t afford to go loose here.”

DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 Team KOOL Green Honda) 8th fastest: “I’m disappointed, because this morning I thought we had the car we wanted here. But in the afternoon we just couldn’t get the car balanced. We’re loose, and have some problems to sort out. It’s almost like something’s gone away on the car because no matter what change we make, the problem is still there.”

SHINJI NAKANO (#5 Avex/Alpine/Walker Racing Honda) 23rd fastest today, first time back at Milwaukee since his testing crash here: “I haven’t found a good balance for the car yet, there is too much understeer. I don’t think the crash I had here is affecting me as much as the testing time and information we lost as a result.”

HELIO CASTRO-NEVES (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) 3rd fastest, qualified second last year and led 15 race laps: “As soon as we unloaded the car today, it was fast. We never changed the corner weights or anything, it’s very comfortable right now. I think, with the new aerodynamic rules, you’re going to see more passing this year. In Turn 2 especially, you can run a high line and pass people. Now we’ll just see what the weather’s going to be.”

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Shinji Nakano , Kenny Brack
Teams Team Penske