CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi: Team Rahal Thursday practice report

Vasser and Jourdain prepare for Bridgestone Potenza 500 qualifying. MOTEGI, JAPAN . . . Shell driver Jimmy Vasser was seventh fastest and Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. was 16th overall on the first day of practice for the Bridgestone ...

Vasser and Jourdain prepare for Bridgestone Potenza 500 qualifying.

MOTEGI, JAPAN . . . Shell driver Jimmy Vasser was seventh fastest and Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. was 16th overall on the first day of practice for the Bridgestone Potenza 500.

Vasser piloted his Shell car to the second fastest lap on the day mid-way through the afternoon practice (212.629 mph) and then focused his remaining practice efforts on long runs with full fuel tanks.

Jourdain was 16th overall after being forced to switch to his back-up car after the primary Gigante car lost power during the morning session. The Gigante team also battled a push for Jourdain which improved throughout the practice. Jourdain turned his fast lap of 210.627 mph on the final lap of the afternoon practice session.

Qualifying for Saturday's race (Speed Channel 12:30 PM EDT) will get under way on Friday afternoon.

Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "We found something extra in the car this afternoon from what we had this morning. I turned my fast lap about two-thirds of the way through the session so we decided to finish the session by working on our long runs. Because we finished the session running with the full tanks we didn't top that time from earlier. I am pretty happy with where the car is headed. I think we have a shot at the front row tomorrow. It is very competitive [all three engines are represented in the first three slots] but I think we are on the right track and this team knows how to get the car right for an oval so I think we are in a good position."

Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "We improved this afternoon but we still aren't where we want to be. Certainly our problems with the primary car this morning put us behind a bit but I think we are making up ground. We have been fighting with a push in the car and while it got better it still wasn't handling the way I would like."

-tr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Michel Jourdain