CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland Friday practice report

Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Portland International Raceway 18 June 1999 Friday Practice Report by Alan Perry, motorsport.com A half hour before the first practice session, it was announced that rain was moving in. Minutes before the start, it...

Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Portland International Raceway 18 June 1999

Friday Practice Report by Alan Perry, motorsport.com

A half hour before the first practice session, it was announced that rain was moving in. Minutes before the start, it was drizzling. By the time the green flag came out, it was raining.

Since it was a practice session and it was a wet session at that, one would not expect much to happen, particularly since the weather for tomorrow and Sunday is expected to be dry. However, Pruett decided to make a go at it and was putting in the fast times, all in the low 1:20s. Soon de Ferran joined him, first doing a 1:16, then a 1:15.374. da Matta brought out the first red flag of the session when he spun in turn 12.

The track went green again, but it didn't last long. Garcia hit Jones going into turn 10, pushing Jones into the wall, then causing Garcia to spin off into the inside of turn 11, where he stalled. Jones managed to limp the car into the pits. And the session was red-flagged. The order was de Ferran, Kanaan, Fittipaldi, Carpentier, Pruett, Vasser, Moore, Jones, Montoya and Jourdain.

After the session was resumed, Fittipaldi was first out and while he put in some fast times, it was Montoya who was putting on a show, by first breaking into 1:13, then 1:12, sliding his car a good bit on the wet track. Carpentier was right behind, putting in times that were pretty close. Papis and de Ferran were also doing well, putting in a third fast time, one after the other, but de Ferran lost control and decided to try out the run-off area in turn 4, stopping just before the wall. Red flag.

With 50 minutes to go, the order was Montoya, Carpentier, de Ferran, Papis, Fittipaldi, Andretti, Fernandez and Gugelmin. Also, the rain was turning into more of a drizzle. When the session went green, it was Andretti who was on the charge, eventually posting top time. da Matta managed to put in a second fastest time.

With around 40 minutes to go, the session got pretty quiet. The order was Andretti, da Matta, Montoya, Carpentier, de Ferran, Moore, Gugelmin, Papis, Gordon and Kanaan. And the track was starting to get a dry line.

The session was stopped when Hattori and Castro-Neves stopped on the track, but it is not clear what happened. When the session was restarted, Moore broke into the 1:10s.

With 25 minutes to go, the session was stopped for debris and the order was Moore, Pruett, Jones, Gugelmin, de Matta, Jourdain, Unser, Hearn, Papis and Garcia. The break was short and Castro-Neves took top time, breaking into 1:09. Then Moreno took top time with a 1:08.931. Then Gordon took top time with a 1:07.688.

With 15 minutes to go, Gordon and Kanaan kept swapping fast times for the session, starting in the 1:03s and ending in the 1:01s. With 10 minutes to go, the order was Kanaan, Gordon, Hearn, Moreno, Jourdain, Castro-Neves, de Ferran and da Matta. Fittipaldi put in a time good for 2nd, then followed it by a top time at 1:00.597. And Team Kool Green finally decided to put in some fast times, but couldn't break into the top five.

Castro-Neves managed to put in a top five time, then immediately followed this by loosing it in the Festival Curves, bringing out the session's last red flag.

The session was started with two minutes to go, leading to a mad dash to the track. Franchitti, Andretti, Kanaan, da Matta, Moore and Hearn all put in 1:00s and 1:01s, but Montoya managed to sneak in under a lap that was under a minute (59.227 to be exact) to take top time for the session.

As far as the stats go, da Matta had the top trap speed at the start/finish line with a 176.332 mph, Montoya had the top trap speed at the first intermiediate point with 98.796 mph and Fittipaldi had the top trap speed at the second intermediate point with 185.238 mph. Montoya's average speed on his fast lap was 119.682 mph.

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Series IndyCar