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DATE News (chronologically)
04/21/07
cca
Matos tops Saturday AM practice  Continuing to call upon his speed seemingly whenever he wants, Sierra Sierra Enterprises driver Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) scored the top time in Saturday morning practice at the Fast Trac 100 at the Grand Prix of Houston (tape-delayed broadcast on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

After getting nearly seven-tenths-of-a-second clear of the field on Friday while claiming the provisional pole for the third round of the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Matos produced the top time again in the day's first practice. The 25-year-old Brazilian circled the track in 1:04.993 (93.222 mph) and emerged as the only driver to break the one-minute-five-second mark.

Matos actually faced a tough battle for the top lap throughout the scheduled 45-minute morning practice as his Sierra Sierra teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) also owned the top time for a good portion of the session. "Hinch" wound up second on the leaderboard as he checked in with a lap of 1:05.176 (92.961 mph).

The practice was brought to an early end after Bret MacDonald (#21 Brelia Ent./Bam/BCP/Rock House) suffered an accident that took off his back wing with just over two minutes remaining on the timing clock. MacDonald was uninjured in the incident.

After finishing fourth in first-round qualifying, Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport) slotted in third in the practice session. Perera of Condor Motorsports owned a fast lap of 1:05.327 (82.386 mph).

American drivers Carl Skerlong (#24 King Taco/USRT) and Jonathan Bomarito (#23 Miracle Sealants/Konica Minolta/Dynacor) completed the top-five practice times. Skerlong stopped the clock at 1:05.390 (82.306 mph) for US RaceTronics while Bomarito secured a fast lap of 1:05.501 (82.167 mph) for PR1 Motorsports.

The Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper Atlantic cars return to the track this afternoon at 12:15 p.m. CT for the final round of qualifying.

Pos Driver Car# Team Lap Time Leader
1 Raphael Matos 6 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:04.993 0.000
2 James Hinchcliffe 9 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:05.176 0.183
3 Franck Perera 11 Condor Motorsports 1:05.327 0.334
4 Carl Skerlong 24 US RaceTronics 1:05.390 0.397
5 Jonathan Bomarito 23 PR1 Motorsports 1:05.501 0.508
6 Giacomo Ricci 18 Conquest Racing 1:05.679 0.686
7 J.R. Hildebrand 36 Newman Wachs Racing 1:05.681 0.688
8 Ronnie Bremer 12 Polestar Racing Group 1:05.852 0.859
9 Matt Lee 44 Conquest Racing 1:05.925 0.932
10 Robert Wickens 3 Red Bull Team Forsythe 1:05.948 0.955 zzzz
11 Adrian Carrio 17 Genoa Racing 1:05.957 0.964
12 Alan Sciuto 20 Alan Sciuto Racing 1:05.983 0.990
13 Simona De Silvestro 5 Walker Racing 1:05.986 0.993
14 Justin Sofio 26 Mathiasen Motorsports 1:06.034 1.041
15 Ryan Lewis 15 Walker Racing 1:06.055 1.062
16 Tom Sutherland 2 Jensen MotorSport 1:06.094 1.101
17 David Garza 4 US RaceTronics 1:06.117 1.124
18 Brian Thienes 19 Condor Motorsports 1:06.368 1.375
19 Richard Heistand 37 Genoa Racing 1:06.541 1.548
20 Luis Mussi 30 Gelles Racing 1:06.545 1.552
21 Joe D'Agostino 10 Brooks Associates Racing 1:06.679 1.686
22 Adrien Herberts 45 Paladin Motorsports 1:06.707 1.714
23 John Edwards 7 Red Bull Team Forsythe 1:06.721 1.728
24 Mike Forest 32 PR1 Motorsports 1:06.846 1.853
25 Tengyi Jiang  8 Brooks Associates Racing 1:07.123 2.130
26 Frankie Muniz 13 Jensen MotorSport 1:07.490 2.497
27 Bret MacDonald 21 Polestar Racing Group 1:08.670 3.677
28 Junior Strous 16 Condor Motorsports

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