CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi: Ford Racing Thursday practice report

Patrick Carpentier goes second-fastest during practice for Bridgestone Potenza 500 at Twin Ring Motegi. TOP THREE DRIVERS SEPARATED BY .037 SECONDS - Player's/Indeck driver Patrick Carpentier recorded the second-fastest lap during practice...

Patrick Carpentier goes second-fastest during practice for Bridgestone Potenza 500 at Twin Ring Motegi.

TOP THREE DRIVERS SEPARATED BY .037 SECONDS - Player's/Indeck driver Patrick Carpentier recorded the second-fastest lap during practice for the Bridgestone Potenza 500 at Motegi, Japan, circling the 1.5-mile oval in 26.015 seconds, just .032 seconds behind Bruno Junquiera [25.983 seconds], who was quickest on the day. Team Green driver Dario Franchitti was third-fastest with his lap of 26.020 seconds as all three engine manufacturers were represented among the three fastest drivers. Carpentier's teammate, Alex Tagliani, rebounded from a spin with about 10 minutes left in the session and some mechanical problems experienced for most of the afternoon to post the sixth-fastest time in his backup car [26.179 seconds], while Team Rahal driver Jimmy Vasser was seventh-quick [26.209 seconds]. The second practice session was a very competitive affair with the entire 20-car grid separated by less than a second [.908 seconds].

FORD-COSWORTH AND ITS OVAL TRACK SUCCESS - Since introducing the XF engine for the 2000 FedEx Championship season, Ford-Cosworth has been a strong contender in every oval track event over the last two seasons. Consider that in the 17 CART races contested since the XF first appeared in the season-opening race at the Homestead Motor Speedway in 2000, Ford-Cosworth has won nine races, recorded 40 top-five finishes and made 27 podium appearances.

TEAM RAHAL DOMINANT ON THE OVALS IN 2001 - Team Rahal was clearly the team to beat on the ovals in 2001 with four victories and four runner-up finishes in eight oval events. As a matter of fact, the only oval race in which Team Rahal failed to capture a podium result was the Michigan 500, where both former drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis led a combined 137 laps before contact between the two ended both of their days prematurely.

-ford-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack