CHAMPCAR/CART: Rio Team Kool Green Friday Practice Report

Team KOOL Green's Tracy is fifth fastest in practice RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (May 8, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti were fifth and 14th in practice on the 1.864-mile oval at Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway in preparation...

Team KOOL Green's Tracy is fifth fastest in practice

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (May 8, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti were fifth and 14th in practice on the 1.864-mile oval at Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway in preparation for tomorrow's qualifying at the Rio 400. The green flag for th e 133-lap race drops on Sunday at 12 p.m. EDT.

The quickest driver on the course today was Michael Andretti, who turned a lap-time of 39.653 seconds at 169.656 mph. Brazil's Gil de Ferran was next at 39.711 seconds (168.981 mph), followed by Andretti's Brazilian teammate, Christian Fittipaldi at 40.0 35 seconds (167.613 mph). Mexico's Adrian Fernandez was fourth with a time of 40.046 seconds (167.567 mph).

Tracy turned the fifth quickest time at 40.194 seconds, reaching 166.950 mph on his eighth lap in his back-up car. He was forced into the spare car when he slid off the track with 43 minutes left in the afternoon session. Another 30 minutes was added to practice to make up for a number of cautions which cost track time. Morning practice session was washed out by rain after only 18 minutes of running time. Franchitti, meanwhile, clocked his fastest lap on his final tour of the course in 40.487 seconds at 165.742 mph. He parked the car with minutes left in the session when he felt the engine tighten up.

Paul Tracy, #26 Team KOOL Green Reynard-Honda (Firestone):

"I'm really happy with the job Team KOOL Green did in preparing the spare car. It's not very often you can roll out your spare car and it's better than your primary. I jumped right in the spare and went 9/10ths of a second quicker. I felt pretty good about the way the car ran in the second half of the session, so we'll just improve it for tomorrow."

On his incident in turn four: "I had a huge push all the way through the corner (turn 4) and then when I got on the power on the exit the rear came around."

Dario Franchitti, #27 Team KOOL Green Reynard-Honda (Firestone):

"The car isn't handling bad at all. We're not too far off from where we need to be. Everybody is just trying to find grip out there. Towards the end of the session, I felt the engine tighten up and so I brought it in. We won't know what the problem is until the Honda engineers go through the engine tonight."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Emerson Fittipaldi