CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas Gold Coast Friday practice report

Honda Indy 300 Friday, October 25, 2001 Fittipaldi Fifth Fastest After Limited Practice In Wet Conditions For Honda Indy 300 While Da Matta Sixth FASTEST: Jimmy Vasser 1:36.911 103.911 mph 5th Christian Fittipaldi 1:38.009 102.664 mph 6th ...

Honda Indy 300
Friday, October 25, 2001

Fittipaldi Fifth Fastest After Limited Practice In Wet Conditions For Honda Indy 300 While Da Matta Sixth

FASTEST: Jimmy Vasser 1:36.911 103.911 mph
5th Christian Fittipaldi 1:38.009 102.664 mph
6th Cristiano da Matta 1:38.545 102.106 mph

OVERALL: The typically sunny Surfer's Paradise area was interrupted by a day of spring rain and therefore those drivers and teams that elected to run in the wet conditions logged slower lap times. Rain stopped 45 minutes prior to the start of the 9:30-11:15 AM (local time) practice session but began again at approx. 9:52 AM and continued to fall intermittently throughout the day including the afternoon practice session from 1:45-3:15 PM.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We ran 13 total laps between my back-up car and my race car in the first session and just concentrated on installation checks before the rain came. Only six of those were complete timed laps with the rest being 'in' and 'out' laps. We had a brake problem in the first session so we just checked to make sure that we solved that problem in the afternoon session. The forecast for the rest of the weekend is for clear weather so we couldn't learn anything from running in the rain that would apply to this season since this is the final street course race of the year. We will hope for a more productive day tomorrow and give the fans what they came for."

* NOTE: Will be his sixth event here (CART does not acknowledge the 1997 event where he was hit on the 2nd race lap by Gil de Ferran and missed seven races with a broken right leg and left foot). Highest finish is third place in 1998 in his return to Australia since the 1997 accident. His highest start is sixth in 1996. In the five events, he finished two (3rd, 5th) but mechanical failures and contact forced him to retire in three (2000 - contact; 1999 - fire, L3: 1995 - transmission).

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We couldn't get much work done today because of the rain. I barely did enough laps to be able to tell how good the car was. (ON BRINGING OUT THE RED FLAG IN THE MORNING:) I braked late going into a corner and locked up my front wheels in the wet and slid to the wall in front of me. I couldn't get the car in reverse to continue so CART came to push me in the right direction so I could continue. I was the only guy on the track at the time and no one else went out after that. I'm looking forward to running tomorrow. This is one of my favorite street courses."

* NOTE: Will be his third event here. Finished fourth in '00 and retired in 13th place with transmission failure in '99

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Christian Fittipaldi , Cristiano da Matta