CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas Sneak Preview notes

Havoline Toyota Driver Da Matta Fastest Second Day In A Row Of Annual CART Sneak Preview - Fittipaldi Fifth Despite Lack Of Track Time Newman/Haas Racing completed two successful days of testing at the CART FedEx Championship Series 2002 Sneak...

Havoline Toyota Driver Da Matta Fastest Second Day In A Row Of Annual CART Sneak Preview - Fittipaldi Fifth Despite Lack Of Track Time

Newman/Haas Racing completed two successful days of testing at the CART FedEx Championship Series 2002 Sneak Preview today. Havoline Toyota-Lola driver Cristiano da Matta set the fastest times each of the two days and Christian Fittipaldi set the seventh and fifth fastest times respectively each of the two days despite limited track time.

DAY 2 OF 2
FASTEST: Cristiano da Matta 1:08.981 (1:09.231 in morning session/1st)
5th: Christian Fittipaldi 1:10.100 (1:11.608 in morning session/18th)

DAY 1 OF 2
FASTEST: Cristiano da Matta 1:09.500 (1:09.952 in morning session/1st)
7th: Christian Fittipaldi 1:10.100 (1:10.667 in morning session/5th)

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Havoline Toyota-Lola: "I had a pretty good day. The morning session went very well for us but there were too many red flags in the afternoon session and we weren't able to accomplish all of the things we set out to do. We tried many good things and many bad things but the car was still fast so we are pretty happy. We weren't concentrating on speed though. We weren't trying to make the car mega fast here. We were trying fundamental things that can help us for all of the road courses this season. I think there are many guys that can be pointed out as favorites (for the Championship) and I think I am one of them but it is still too early to know. We will just keep working hard and work toward getting to Mexico to see how we stack up against the others."

GUILLAUME "ROCKY" ROCQUELIN, Race Engineer for da Matta: "It was not a great test in terms of what we were able to accomplish based on the limited track time compared to private testing but it was good to work in a structure that is consistent with race weekends. We have a long way to go before we are ready to start the season but it's good to know we are making progress with the Toyota Lola package. The crew focused on the task at hand and were completely dedicated to getting the most out of the two days. It's a tribute to them that Cristiano ran so well."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Toyota-Lola: "It's a shame we weren't able to run this morning but overall I was happy with the amount of running this afternoon. I'm sure there are a lot of areas we can improve but we have a better idea of what we need to improve on. At the moment da Matta is kicking everyone's butt, but I think that if we had a normal two days of testing with no mechanical problems we would definitely have a solid second quickest car."

CRAIG HAMPSON, Race Engineer for Fittipaldi: "We struggled a bit with a couple of mechanical issue which limited the amount of time we ran. As a result we didn't get to test as much as we had hoped to. However we learned valuable things that will help us at all of the road races this season. The car wasn't perfect for Christian's driving style but it is encouraging that he was fifth quickest today despite not being able to run as much as most of the others. There is still a lot to come. The crew worked hard this weekend working through some new car problems and I'm glad they can see the progress from their efforts."

BRIAN LISLES, General Manager: "Sneak Preview is a good dress rehearsal for the team because we use it as the first official outing of the 2002 season to fix any areas that need work. We're pleased everything went fairly smoothly for us. We had a couple of new car problems, which we were able to solve so learned from that situation and can hopefully prevent them from happening on a race weekend. We have been practicing pit stops in the shop but it is a benefit to be able to do wet stops here. We tested some new pit equipment that worked well and the guys performed some flawless pit stops. Team worked very well and we are pleased by the consistent speed shown by Cristiano and Christian. It is not a time to relax not though because the team is on its way to Firebird to test Tuesday and Thursday with Cristiano. In addition to the chassis testing we did some engine testing that was very successful. TRD have really produced some gains over the winter."

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Cristiano da Matta