CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi Thursday Ford Racing Report

CART Thursday Practice (PM Session) Twin Ring Motegi, Japan Top Three 1. Adrian Fernandez (25.732 seconds @ 216.711) 2. Mauricio Gugelmin (25.742) 3. Paul Tracy (25.801) Other Ford-Cosworth Teams 9. P.J. Jones (26.057) 11. Max Papis ...

CART Thursday Practice (PM Session) Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

Top Three 1. Adrian Fernandez (25.732 seconds @ 216.711) 2. Mauricio Gugelmin (25.742) 3. Paul Tracy (25.801)

Other Ford-Cosworth Teams 9. P.J. Jones (26.057) 11. Max Papis (26.080) 12. Bryan Herta (26.085) 16. Christian Fittipaldi (26.154) 21. Luiz Garcia, Jr. (26.594) 24. Michael Andretti (Contact with Montoya) (27.106) 27. Michel Jourdain, Jr. (28.988)

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - "It's great to be back here in Japan after the great memories we had here last year. Today we worked on making sure that the car we are running today was okay. As you may know the car I had in Homestead cracked the monocoque and basically this is a 1997 monocoque with 1998 upgrades. So, basically we wanted to make sure the car was okay. In the morning session we were pretty careful, maybe too careful , but I wanted to make sure the tires were up to temperature before I pushed the car. We just ran through a few changes this morning. In the afternoon we made a few corrections and we were running full tanks in the beginning and we worked our way down (on fuel) during the session and we put a few new tires on at the end to finish the session and scrub a few tires in just in case it rains. I am pretty satisfied in the way the car is working and in the effort that my guys did in putting the car together to get it here. Unfortunately we did not have as much time in the session as we would have liked because of the crash with (Juan) Montoya and Michael (Andretti). Also, the Firestone tires are working really well. They are very durable and very consistent all the time. The work they keep doing is remarkable. The engine is also running very strong. Ford has made a few changes to the engine and they are working very well."

P.J. JONES -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - "The motor is running great. We have had no problems yet this weekend and we are fast all around, even in traffic. We ran consistently in both sessions and I think we are in a great spot. We sure have a good race car. ON THE EFFECTS OF THE HIGH WINDS AND COOL TEMPERATURES . . . "The wind didn't really affect me too much. The car is working so good right now. It's kind of hard to gear the car with the tail wind and the head wind you have going down the straightaway. The front straight has a tail wind and the rear straight has a head wind which makes picking the right gearing a bit tricky, but it really has not affected me that much.

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - "We seemed to have a very fast car from the word "go" today. Everything was really up in the air during the session because we lost about 25 minutes in the pit because of the accident (with Andretti and Montoya). So we only did a quarter of the job we wanted to do today. We have a very strong race car and we may not have maximized the race car yet. My confidence in the car is high."

BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - "Today was a character building day. The car was pretty loose all day. It was very loose this morning but we did make a lot of progress this afternoon. We will give it another shot tomorrow but I feel pretty good that we can improve the setup."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - ON THE INCIDENT WITH JAUN MONTOYA FIVE MINUTES INTO THE AFTERNOON PRACTICE SESSION "I am not really sure what disappoints me more, the move he (Montoya) pulled or the way he reacted afterwards."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - "We were working on long runs this afternoon. We had a long run of 46 laps and put a total of 72 laps on the set of tires and we still pulled the quick lap at the end of the session. I feel very good about where we are so far this weekend."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , P.J. Jones , Michel Jourdain , Luiz Garcia