CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy, Francitti struggle for grip at Monterrey

MONTERREY, MEXICO - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy, as well as the rest of the Champ Car competitors, struggled to find grip in Friday's practice on the new 2.1-mile road course at Fundidora Park. Franchitti's best lap was a ...

MONTERREY, MEXICO - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy, as well as the rest of the Champ Car competitors, struggled to find grip in Friday's practice on the new 2.1-mile road course at Fundidora Park. Franchitti's best lap was a 1:19.510 (95.263 mph), which placed him 9th fastest on the day. Tracy's fastest lap was completed in 1:20.767 (93.781 mph), the 17th fastest. . Fellow Honda driver and current CART champion Gil de Ferran set the fastest lap of the day, with a time of 1:18.581 (96.390 mph).

This morning's practice session was stopped after 40 minutes, as the new circuit was proving too slippery for the Champ Car competitors. CART officials decided it would be best to let the support series run their practice sessions to clean the track and put some tire rubber down on the surface. An additional 30 minutes was added to the afternoon practice session

On-track action resumes tomorrow morning with a 90-minute practice session, from 9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. The first and only qualifying session is scheduled for Saturday afternoon with the field split into two 30-minute qualifying sessions beginning at 1:45 p.m. (All times are Central Standard Time.)

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(17th with a lap-time of 1:20.767 seconds / 93.781 mph)

"The track is really nice, but because it's brand new it doesn't have any grip. I got one tire off line a little bit and with the track so dusty, I couldn't get the KOOL car stopped. At that point I was just a passenger and it slid into the wall. It's like driving a shopping cart out there, with the back end just sliding all over the place from lack of traction. I'm not sure how much of that is the car and how much of that is the track. The line is improving and I'm sure you'll see everyone go faster tomorrow. But everybody is taking the same line so a second groove isn't developing and that will make passing very difficult. We'll work on some things tonight and give it our best shot tomorrow. I predict this race is going to be very difficult. You're going to have to run a perfect race to win. If you get just a couple of inches off the line, you're off the track and it's difficult to win from there."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(9th with a lap-time of 1:19.510 seconds / 95.263 mph)

"It's a fairly interesting track - it's a challenge that's for sure! The biggest challenge right now is finding some grip. We just can't get any traction for the KOOL car. This happens with new tracks but I'm sure that it will continue to get better with each session. By the time we get finished with qualifying, I think you're going to see the lap times a lot faster. Another challenge right now is traffic, because nobody wants to go off line here so you get quys queuing up behind people and some guys aren't using their mirrors. That makes it frustrating, especially when the track is getting better and you want to get a fast lap in. We're not that far off on the setup, I think. I only did four laps there at the end on new tires and I hit traffic every lap. We're in reasonably good shape, but all that might change tomorrow with the track conditions improving so we'll be chasing the track a bit. But, all in all, this is a nice facility and the crowd has been fantastic."

-TKG-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti