ROCKINGHAM, United Kingdom - Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, along with the rest of the CART FedEx drivers, completed only a few laps behind the pace car today at the new Rockingham Motor Speedway, when persistent moisture...
ROCKINGHAM, United Kingdom - Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, along with the rest of the CART FedEx drivers, completed only a few laps behind the pace car today at the new Rockingham Motor Speedway, when persistent moisture on the track caused the cancellation of today's practice sessions.
Today's two practice sessions were to have been the first opportunity for drivers to tour the brand-new, 1.5-mile oval, but a water seepage problem prevented the drivers from turning any fast laps. Two sets of reconnaissance laps behind the pace car were held, but it was determined that conditions were unsuitable for the Champ Cars to run at speed.
Tomorrow's schedule calls for morning practice from 9:30 - 11:15 a.m. local time (4:30 - 6:15 a.m. EDT) with single-car qualifying set to begin at 1:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. EDT).
Sunday's inaugural Rockingham 500 is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. EDT), and will air live on ESPN.
#26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
"It's really hard to say what the track is going to be like. It's a pretty different configuration from anything we've run on before. We got our first look at it today, but we just did a few slow laps behind the pace car and didn't get any speed because of the water on the track. It's disappointing not to be able to run today, but Team KOOL Green always gives me a pretty good car right off the truck so we should be in good shape when we do get to run. I really hope we can qualify tomorrow, because we think we have a faster car than an 11th place starting position (if grid is determined by points standings). But we had some good news today about Alex (Zanardi), and our thoughts are still with him and everyone back in America."
#27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
"It was very frustrating because we only got to run the KOOL car behind the pace car for a few laps. The track looks almost dry but there are definitely wet spots and we can't drive with it like that. I'm sure tonight CART and the circuit will come up with some ideas on what to do to fix the problem so we can run tomorrow. It's obviously a new track for all of us, and it's difficult to say exactly how things are going to pan out until we've actually raced, really. Running in practice, everyone's looking for the ultimate lap whereas during a race there are a lot of things to take into account, such as tire wear and you're going to see the balance of the car changing. But I think it will be a good race for the fans and it's nice to see a lot of them here today. They really seem to be enjoying the access to the cars and drivers, which they don't get a lot. I've also seen a lot of shows of support for America, which is heartening."