CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver Saturday Practice Report

Molson Indy Vancouver September 4, 1999 Saturday Practice Report by Alan Perry, motorsport.com The sky was overcast and the temperature cool for the morning practice session. The weather was quite a change from the sun that was shining all...

Molson Indy Vancouver September 4, 1999

Saturday Practice Report by Alan Perry, motorsport.com

The sky was overcast and the temperature cool for the morning practice session. The weather was quite a change from the sun that was shining all day yesterday. This 75 minute practice session was the last chance for the drivers to sort out their cars before the final qualifying session this afternoon.

Carpentier, who damaged his primary car in yesterday's practice session, and Castro-Neves, who had several engine failures yesterday, started the session in their spare cars.

Hattori started the session by going out after everyone else and spinning the car all by himself. Luckily, no one else was around and managed to get it going again without causing any problems.

Moore and Franchitti were the first drivers to complete a lap. Franchitti set out to put in some fast laps, but there was a lot of traffic to contend with.

Like last year, many drivers decided to try out the run-off areas in the back end of the track. Herta lost it under braking when Castro-Neves came in underneath him going into a turn.

Tracy and Andretti first to get times in the 1:02s in this session.

Just like in yesterday's practice, Montoya had engine problems and had to switch to the spare car. Castro-Neves started putting in much better times, then he suffered engine problems. Later, Tracy would join them.

With 60 minutes to go, the order was Tracy (102.142), Castro-Neves, Andretti, Moore, Jones, Franchitti, Montoya, Blundell, Pruett, Hearn, Gordon, Vasser, Carpentier, Unser, Kanaan, Magnussen, Gugelmin, Jourdain, Herta, Garcia, de Ferran, Moreno, da Matta, Papis, Montermini and Hattori. The last four drivers were well off the pace of the others.

Gugelmin was the first driver to get (barely) into 1:01s.

At mid-way through the session, Hattori and Montermini were well off the pace, but managed to improved to 10 seconds off of the pace instead of 20 seconds off the pace.

With 45 minutes to go, the order was Gugelmin (1:01.969), Franchitti, Tracy, Blundell, Andretti, Castro-Neves, Jones, Carpentier, Moreno, Papis, de Ferran, Moore, Vasser, Herta, Gordon, Montoya, Hearn, Kanaan, Pruett, Gidley, Magnussen, da Matta, Jourdain, Garcia, Unser, Montermini and Hattori. Hattori was still significantly slower than everyone else.

The session was red flagged with 38 minutes to go when Tracy's car stopped on the track. Tracy ran and got a fire extinguisher but couldn't figure out whether to use it since the the course workers pulled up at about the same time. Tracy helped steer the car as it was removed from the track. The workers also took the opportunity to remove Moore's stalled car from the course.

The session went back to green flag with 31 minutes to go. The only changes in fifteen minutes was Montoya moving up to 7th, Kanaan moving up to 10th, Pruett moving up 12th and Jourdain getting 19th. Gugelmin was still the only driver to do a lap in under 1:02.

de Ferran decided to try the run-off at the end of the straight. He was soon followed by Moreno (who has just got second best time), who was immediately followed by Carpentier.

After his problems with the engine on his primary car, Montoya went out in the spare and on first flying lap set the fastest time. Tracy also went out in his space, but didn't show the same kind of improvement.

A flurry of drivers started putting in times under 1:02. Montoya, Moreno, Blundell, Kanaan and Franchitti. In minutes, Gugelmin was pushed from first to sixth.

With 15 minutes to go, the order was Blundell (1:01.565), Franchitti, Kanaan, Montoya (primary car), Moreno, Gugelmin, Tracy (primary), Jones, Andretti, Castro-neves, Tracy (spare car), Papis, Carpentier, Hearn, Pruett, Gordon, da Matta, de Ferran, Moore, Vasser, Herta, Jourdain, Montoya (spare car), Gidley, Magnussen, Montermini, Unser, Garcia and Hattori.

Moore went out in the spare car but never got a chance to really try it out. Why?

Tracy was on a flying lap, when the back end of the car came out on the front straight and tagged the wall hard. It was good that the end of the session was near because Tracy was out of cars. The session was red-flagged with 10 minutes to go.

The session was restarted with six minutes to go, but it quickly went back to red when Jourdain's car stopped on the track. With so little time remained, the session was ended.

The order at the end was Moreno (1:01.485), Blundell, Franchitti, Kanaan, Montoya (primary car), Gugelmin, Andretti, Tracy (primary car), Jones, Castro-Neves, Tracy (in the spare), Papis, Carpentier, Hearn, Pruett, Gordon, da Matta, de Ferran, Moore (primary car), Vasser, Herta, Gidley, Jourdain, Montoya (in the spare), Magnussen, Montermini, Unser, Garcia, Moore (in the spare) and, at the back again, Hattori.

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