The first day of practice for the 2001 CART season opener, the Grand Prix of Monterrey, was a learning experience for all the CART teams. The morning practice session was cut to only 30 minutes due a slick "dirty" track, which required additional...
The first day of practice for the 2001 CART season opener, the Grand Prix of Monterrey, was a learning experience for all the CART teams. The morning practice session was cut to only 30 minutes due a slick "dirty" track, which required additional time for the safety crews to prep the track. Finally the afternoon session allowed the teams to get down to business. The expanded two and a half-hour session allowed the drivers and teams to begin perfecting the set-up on the cars. Max Papis endured a difficult session in the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola. Papis battled an unstable rear to his primary car and while a switch to his back-up car helped it did not eliminate the problem. In the next pit box Kenny Brack was among the pacesetters for the entire session. Brack consistently ran in the top-five and finished the session fourth overall with a fast lap of 95.699 mph. The session ended early when Team Green's Paul Tracy brushed the wall in the front stretch. It may have cost Brack the session's top lap since the 2000 CART Rookie of the Year was just starting his final run.
- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola -
"It was a very long day for our team. We tried the primary car and it never felt right. I felt like something was broken in the rear. The backup car was better but several red flags hurt us. We had a good test two weeks ago (in Homestead) and I was confident about the car, same as my teammate Kenny. The track was just too slippery for our settings. We have to go back and think over our setup for this track. It's a little different than we anticipated. I could never get the car stable. It was sliding all of the time."
- Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola -
"The track was very difficult. It was like driving on snow or ice today. It's very slick. Reminds me of my days in Sweden. There was a lot of understeer entering the corner and then over steer exiting. But I think the track will come in as more rubber is down on the surface. You have to try to figure out the track as the session goes along. I don't think I was ever out of P-3 when I was on the track. I'd come into the pits in the P-3 and go out about P-9 or 10. That shows that the track was improving. I feel pretty good about the way the car improved today. But it is early. We have a big day Saturday. With this track, qualifying is very important. You need to start towards the front of the field."