By Wendy-Ann Francis - Motorsport.com Corby, England - The skies over Rockingham Motor Speedway on Friday morning offered promises of clear weather and perhaps even the odd break in the clouds. This made action on the track seem possible. An ...
By Wendy-Ann Francis - Motorsport.com
Corby, England - The skies over Rockingham Motor Speedway on Friday morning offered promises of clear weather and perhaps even the odd break in the clouds. This made action on the track seem possible. An announcement from CART at the end of Thursday was that there was the potential for almost 2 hours practice starting at 9:30am and then 2 more hours starting at 1:30 pm. The afternoon practice session would be used to determine grid positions if they get in at least 1 hour and 20 minutes of practice.
Arriving at the track these hopes were crushed by an announcement by CART Chief Steward Chris Kniefel that any on-track activity has been postponed indefinitely because, although the track crews had worked through the night, there were still sections of track where water was seeping up to the surface and flowing across the track. A walk around the track showed how true that was. So everyone at the track, drivers, spectators and media, wandered around all morning trying to find things to do to pass the time.
At around 11:30 am a dark cloud rolled in and a light rain fell for a short time; this was not what anyone wanted to see. A press conference was held at 2 pm at which it was announced by Joe Heitzler, CART CEO, that no on-track action would happen today due to the weepers on the track. It was also announced that the schedule for tomorrow had been altered to allow the teams sufficient time to get the cars ready for the race.
The Champ cars will come out for a two-hour practice session at 10am on Saturday. This was seen by the race officials as the time needed by the teams for the safety of everyone concerned. The cars will then have a chance to do some installation laps for 10 minutes beginning at 2:20pm and the race will then start at 3:10pm.
The starting grid will be set by driver points. Kenny Brack will start from the first position followed by de Ferran, Andretti, Castroneves and Dixon.
David Grace, Chief Executive of Rockingham Speedway informed us that work on the track will continue this afternoon using five jet dryers, three more than CART usually have, and by drilling relieving holes to help the water drain. When asked what would be the last possible day to run the race Joe Heitzler said Sunday.
The race will now be televised at noon EDT on ESPN2 on a tape delayed basis