CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi Firestone Thursday notes

Former Indy Lights competitors Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves flipped-flopped on first- and second-fastest positions in today's practice sessions at Twin Ring Motegi. Kanaan was fastest in the morning session and fastest overall with a time of...

Former Indy Lights competitors Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves flipped-flopped on first- and second-fastest positions in today's practice sessions at Twin Ring Motegi. Kanaan was fastest in the morning session and fastest overall with a time of 26.142 seconds. Castroneves was fastest in the afternoon session, with a lap time of 26.192 seconds.

Joe Barbieri: Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Project Supervisor:

"Looking at today's practice times, it's obvious the qualifying session tomorrow is going to be quite interesting. The difference between the fastest driver and the 10th fastest driver is only 0.163 of a second. To have a field that tight and that competitive on the first day means there will be a lot of work tonight and tomorrow tweaking, adjusting and re-calculating to squeeze a little more out of both the car and the driver. Teams and drivers have told us the tires are working exceptionally well, with even better grip than we had here last year. Once again, the Firestone technical staff has done an excellent job in designing and producing a terrific tire for a tough track."

Helio Castroneves: "The tires were doing great on the long runs. The grip is very good; as you can see, the times are down from last year with the same amount of downforce. We're not quick yet on some of the turns; we still need to fine-tune the car, but overall it's pretty nice."

Tony Kanaan: "As usual, the Firestones are working great for us. The tires are awesome here; I ran almost 80 laps on one set and they were just perfect from start to finish. The car was good here last year; we knew that so we didn't have to make a lot of changes. I really didn't expect to be so quick, but that's good. It's just the beginning, but it's a good start."

<pre> Temperature Information (In Fahrenheit)

Time         Ambient Track
9:45 a.m.       69    105
10:45           70    108
1:45 p.m.       76    121
3:15 p.m.       74    108

-FR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan