Welcome back to California Speedway for this afternoon's second round of CART FedEx Championship Series practice in Fontana on the monstrous 2.029-mile superspeedway. The temperature at 2:00 p.m. is 64° F with a 6 mph variable wind under overcast California skies.
In the morning practice session #10 KANAAN of Mo Nunn Racing was fastest at 31.364 seconds (232.891 mph).
NOTEWORTHY: Adrian Fernandez to Compete in CART in 2003
Fernandez Racing Team Owners Adrian Fernandez and Tom Anderson today confirmed that Adrian Fernandez will continue in the CART series next year. The 2003 season will mark the 11th year of Champ Car competition for Fernandez, who has seven career wins and three pole positions to his credit
A lot of people assumed that I would be back in CART next year, and I am pleased to confirm today that I will be in CART through at least 2004, said Fernandez. I am also pleased to be able to confirm that Tecate, Quaker State and Telmex will continue as our primary sponsors. I see a lot of positives in the future of this series and have the utmost confidence in [CART President and CEO] Chris Pook.
CART FedEx Championship Series Starter Jim Swintal displays the GREEN FLAG at 2:15 p.m. for to open the second round of practice. The Champ Cars now have the option to take the track for the 75-minute session.
At 2:20 p.m., #32 CARPENTIER reported smoking. #27 FRANCHITTI fastest early on at 31.898 seconds (228.992 mph) on his third lap. YELLOW FLAG for oil on the racing surface. #32 CARPENTIER on pit lane and smoking heavily as the Player's/Forsythe Racing crew assesses the situation.
GREEN FLAG at 2:25 p.m. after the Simple Green CART Safety Team performed a quick clean up. The top five on the speed chart are #27 FRANCHITTI, #8 VASSER, #20 SERVIA, #55 DOMINGUEZ and #33 TAGLIANI.
At 2:27 p.m., #27 FRANCHITTI improves to 31.519 seconds (231.746 mph) on his eighth lap, followed by #10 KANAAN, #51 PAPIS, #5 TAKAGI and #39 ANDRETTI.
At 2:39 p.m., #33 TAGLIANI turns the fastest lap of the weekend at 31.252 seconds (233.726 mph) on his 20th lap, followed by #8 VASSER, #27 FRANCHITTI, #10 KANAAN and #39 ANDRETTI.
YELLOW FLAG at 2:43 p.m. for #4 JUNQUEIRA who is slow on the backstretch and will need to be towed in.
GREEN FLAG at 2:52 p.m.
At 3:03 p.m., #33 TAGLIANI remains fastest, followed by #8 VASSER, #27 FRANCHITTI, #10 KANAAN and #9 JOURDAIN.
At 3:11 p.m., #1 DA MATTA moves to fifth on the speed chart at 31.553 seconds (231.496 mph) on his 47th lap.
At 3:28 p.m., #9 JOURDAIN moves to third fastest at 31.439 seconds (232.336 mph) on his 49th lap.
CHECKERED FLAG at 3:30 p.m. #33 TAGLIANI of Player's/Forsythe Racing paced the session at 31.252 seconds (233.726 mph) on his 20th lap, followed by Team Rahal's entries of #8 VASSER at 31.351 seconds (232.988 mph) on his 16th lap and #9 JOURDAIN at 31.439 seconds (232.336 mph) on his 49th lap. All three machines were under Ford-Cosworth power.
CHAMP CAR TOP-THREE OVERALL PRACTICE QUOTES
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): Fastest time of the day at 31.252 seconds (233.726 mph) There was a tow involved in my lap for sure. We were working with the downforce throughout the session and we were pretty trimmed out there. I was fast in practice at Rockingham and we qualified ninth so we tried a lot of things with the downforce to try and free the car up for qualifying. I think the times are representative of how we'll do in the race.
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): Second-fastest of the day at 31.351 seconds (232.988 mph) It's getting better but there's something about the car that I still don't like. The engine seems good, I don't think power is a problem here but running in traffic that car isn't as stable as I'd like it to be.
TONY KANAAN (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): Third-fastest of the day fastest in morning practice at 31.364 seconds (232.891mph) It's obviously a long race, I'm not too worried about qualifying or anything like that, we're just working on having a good race car. The car has a little too much understeer in traffic but there are way to work that out and that's what we'll be working on.
This concludes the CART FedEx Championship Series pit notes for Friday, November 1, 2002, from California Speedway in Fontana, California. We'll see you tomorrow morning for more Real Racing. Real Sport, as the Champ Cars roar to life again in tomorrow's 60-minute practice session (8:309:30 a.m.) followed by qualifying for The 500 Presented by Toyota. Good night!