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2001 Teams & Drivers

Brooke Racing
Max Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing
Alex Barron
Andre Couto

Fernandez Racing
Adrian Fernandez
Shinji Nakano

Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports
Michel Jourdain Jr.

Marlboro Team Penske
Gil de Ferran
Helio Castroneves

Mo Nunn Racing
Tony Kanaan
Alex Zanardi

Newman/Haas Racing
Cristiano da Matta
Christian Fittipaldi

PacWest Racing Group
Mauricio Gugelmin
Scott Dixon

Patrick Racing
Roberto Moreno
Jimmy Vasser

Player's Forsythe Racing Team
Alexandre Tagliani
Patrick Carpentier

Project Racing Group
Luiz Garcia Jr.

Michael Krumm

Sigma Autosports
Oriol Servia

Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
Bruno Junqueira
Nicolas Minassian

Team Green
Paul Tracy
Dario Franchitti

Team Motorola
Michael Andretti

Team Rahal
Max Papis
Kenny Brack

Walker Racing
Toranosuke Takagi

Bryan Herta
Marcel Tiemann

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Latest News and Commentary

A Hollywood beginning for Kanaan at Long Beach
by Mark Cipolloni
April 6, 2001

Tony Kanaan turned in the fastest lap on Friday

Tony Kanaan reeled off a sensational final lap to top first day of competition on the streets of Long Beach.  Kanaan, in his Hollywood-sponsored Honda/Reynard from Mo Nunn Racing, clocked a last lap of 104.559 mph (1 minute, 7.759 seconds) to secure the fastest speed of the day.

He was the only driver to post a lap of more than 104 mph and less than 1:08. Kanaan's time was within three-tenths of a second of Gil de Ferran's pole-winning effort in 2000, the first year for this track configuration at Long Beach. The tight competition Friday was exemplified by the fact that the second through 21st positions were all within a second of each other.

Kanaan's time was nearly half a second faster than that of Oriol Servia (Sigma Autosport Ford Lola), the Sigma Autosport driver who was second fastest on the day at 103.723 mph (1:08.305). Servia will be seeking his first career FedEx Championship Series pole position when qualifying begins Saturday afternoon.

Defending Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach champion Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) was third fastest at 103.617 mph (1:08.375). Tracy earned the pole for the 1994 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and is a two-time race winner here, having captured the 1993 event in addition to his victory last year.

Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard) of Marlboro Team Penske was fourth fastest at 103.597 mph (1:08.388), followed by Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Indeck Ford Reynard) of Player's Forsythe Racing, fifth fastest at 103.576 mph (1:08.402).

Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier had what he described as "one of my better Friday sessions" as he clocked the fifth fastest time today in afternoon practice on the streets of Long Beach, where the second race of the FedEx CART Championship season will be run on Sunday.

Carpentier's teammate Alex Tagliani also had a satisfying day. He served notice that his Player's car will be competitive by turning in the fastest lap in the morning practice session, powering his way around the 1.97-mile street course in 1 minute, 9.147 seconds.

"Overall, I'm happy with how things went," said Carpentier, who was in second place, with a fast lap of 1:08.402 until the last minutes of the session. "Near the end of the session, I came in for some work on the shocks and re-calibrating of the springs. We were looking to improve on our time even more but we didn't have a chance to try out the changes because the oil light started showing the oil pressure was too low, and we experienced some cutting out. We know from today's session that there is room for improvement in the suspension, and I'm confident we can do even better in qualifying."

Tagliani was also upbeat about his chances, particularly since he ran all of his practice laps today on one set of tires. The choice to go with one set of tires was a strategic move by Team Player's technical advisor Tony Cicale.

"Tony wanted to keep six sets of tires for tomorrow's qualifying and the race on Sunday," explained Tagliani, whose fast lap in the afternoon was four one-hundredths of a second slower than his pace-setting morning performance. Tagliani's combined time was 19th fastest overall.

"This is going to work to my advantage in qualifying," predicted Tagliani. "I'll have two new sets of tires while most guys will be running on one partly used set and one new set. Track conditions can change from today to tomorrow, so I'll be in a good position to handle those changes. We had the top time in the morning session. If I had used the new set of tires in the afternoon, I would have been right up with the leaders because the top guy this afternoon was behind me this morning."

FedEx Championship Series points leader Cristiano da Matta of Newman/Haas Racing recorded the 23rd-fastest practice speed of 101.729 mph (1:09.644). Da Matta (Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota Lola) holds a 21-16 lead over defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske heading into Sunday's second round of the championship.

De Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard) was ninth-fastest Friday at 103.160 mph (1:08.678 mph).


TONY KANAAN, Hollywood Honda Reynard: "Well, they took the corner out where I crashed here [while leading the race in 1999], so that makes me happy. This morning we changed tires at the end of the session, but we didn't have any time to get back out on the track. This afternoon, we started the session with the same set as I ran this morning, and then we changed tires and I only did one lap on the new set. I'm pleased to be here, but I still have to improve for tomorrow, because I know the lap times are going to get a lot lower tomorrow. [Teammate] Alex [Zanardi] has been a big help, and actually he really helped me with some changes we did this afternoon. We need to improve tomorrow and stay here, but it's good so far."

ORIOL SERVIA, Sigma Autosport Ford Lola: "I'm happy. It's good to be there now, but it's more important to be there tomorrow and Sunday. But at least we know it's good now. The last couple of months my emotions have been okay, but the months before they weren't so good because I didn't know where I was going to end up, and for a while it didn't look like I was going to end up anywhere. The first day I tried the Lola I thought it was a good choice. You just have to drive well in every session and not make any mistake."

PAUL TRACY, KOOL Honda Reynard: "We've had a lot of problems this weekend. This morning we had some boost problems. We wanted so save the tires this morning so I only did about ten laps. This afternoon, we had an oil leak in the primary car and it was pretty big so we switched to the backup car and had some problems with that. We didn't really get much running in until the last 20 minutes in the session, and we finally put in a good lap at the end. It shows how competitive this series is. I was about 30th quickest until the last lap. [Teammate] Dario [Franchitti] put on a different set of tires, and he went from fourth to 17th. You've just got to make changes at the right time and get a good lap."

Gil de Ferran “It was a tough day for us. We had a gamut of problems this morning but we made progress this afternoon. The afternoon session was really the first chance we had to get a feel for the Marlboro car. In a sense, we are a session behind and playing catch-up. We’ll continue to work on the car tonight and see how 
things play out tomorrow.” 

Helio Castroneves “ We had much better performance in the afternoon than in the morning session, and it took us a little time to get up to speed. As the track got better so did my car. I came in to change tires with about 30 minutes left in the afternoon session and the car was really handling well. We will have to make some adjustments tonight, but my Marlboro car should be ready for qualifying tomorrow and that’s when it counts.” 

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We were obviously hoping to be a lot quicker than we were today so was are going to go through all of the data to figure out all of the places we can improve. We used this as a testing day since there is no in-season testing now. Tomorrow morning we will work more on speed and putting a good lap together to get ready for qualifying. I have my work cut out in qualifying since I am in the slow group because I did not get any points in Mexico. Maybe the "Bluelight Special" will bring us a good finish in this race so we can qualify in the fast group next time, and, more importantly get our season going."

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We had good tests at Sebring (Fla.) and expected to run well here right off of the truck but we have developed the car since those tests are were trying a few new things. Obviously we found some things that did not work out entirely but we still learned a lot today, which is what the practice sessions are for. We concentrated on trying new things with the car and did not run new tires in the afternoon session so we can expect to be quicker than we actually were. We need to get a good balance in the car from front to back but the biggest thing we need to improve on is traction. Tony ran well today. I guess he is trying to buy me a new bike since I have to buy him one now." *Cristiano da Matta and friend Tony Kanaan made a bet prior to the season-opener in Mexico that if one of them won, the winner would have to buy the other one a new bicycle. As the winner of the Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix, da Matta has been considering which bike to buy his friend. Meanwhile, Kanaan looks like he intends to reciprocate on the bet. Fittipaldi convinced both da Matta and Kanaan to cycle with him near their homes in Miami, Fla. Their bike rides alternate in length between one-and-one-half hours to five hours depending on how much time they are available that given day.

MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST TOYOTA Position: 11th Time: 1:08.777s Laps: 33 “My session was pretty good,” said Gugelmin. “We had no drama’s with the car all day and we actually had some respectable runs. I still feel like we need to work on the overall set-up of my car, and once we improve on that, we’ll be able to find some more time. I’m really having a tough time in the hairpin, so if we can gain some time there, through working with the car tonight, we’ll be in good shape for qualifying Saturday. We’ll sort it all out and be ready to go when it counts.” 

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 5th fastest in practice - "Our day was very good, and I think it's been one of our best. The last two Fridays, here and in Mexico, we were in the top five on road circuits and that's very good. We're happy, but I think we have some work to do and we need to find some more (speed) for tomorrow. We're lacking a little bit, but we've got another session tomorrow and we should be good." WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU LEARNED IN MONTERREY THAT CAN HELP YOU HERE? "They're very different circuits - Monterrey was very slippery and this track has a lot of grip, so they're very different tracks. I think it's more from what we did this winter (testing) at Sebring and some of the other circuits that's helping us." DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT QUALIFYING TOMORROW? "Yeah. We're in the slow group because of what happened in Monterrey, but we feel good and should be tough."

Michel Jourdain Jr. Overall, it was a pretty good day. In this morning's first session, we started with different set-ups on the two cars. After we ran both of the 
cars, we made a decision to go with the 16X as our primary and continued to work on it for the rest of the day. The only problem we had this morning was with a pop-off valve but we fixed that quickly so it didn't cost us much time out from of the session. This afternoon, we tried a few different things with the set-up on the car and we are pretty happy with the progress we made. We are still working on getting the car to work a little bit better in the rear and I think we have a good chance at getting that right tomorrow and qualifying in a better position. 

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) - 15th fastest in practice - "We had some problems with the popoff valve this morning, but the engine ran really well in the afternoon. We're getting the power down okay, but tonight we need to do some more work on the rear of the car. We had a good day, but hopefully we'll qualify better than we ran today."

LUIZ GARCIA "This was a tough day for me physically. I wasn't feeling very good at all and I couldn't concentrate and put together a decent run in the car. The car was not bad at all, but I had a few moments out there so we decided to end the day early. Dale (Coyne) took me to the CART Medical Facility where I had an examination. I'll take the doctor's advice and rest up for tomorrow." - 

MICHAEL KRUMM "Needless to say, we lost some time today not only with the engine, but we lost some while trying to improve on the set up of the car. The engine sounded pretty rough, so the guys will have a look at it. As far as the course, it is a nice layout with some wide areas and a few tight turns. I'm impressed with the circuit."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 20th fastest in practice - "The car was good all day and it was really fast this morning when we had the fastest time. This afternoon we had a problem with the engine, but that's racing. We went into the backup car and we could've put new tires on, but Tony (Cicale) said let's just save them for tomorrow." YOU'VE RUN WELL HERE IN THE PAST, SO IS THIS A TRACK THAT YOU LIKE OR DO THINGS JUST SEEM TO COME TOGETHER HERE FOR YOU? "I think at the beginning of the season last year the team was very strong. We were fourth on the grid at Homestead, we had the pole and led the race in Brazil and we finished fourth here, so the car was very good at the beginning of the season. I don't know why I've been so successful here. I think I've been lucky and good at the same time, and I think you need those two things to finish well in a Champ Car."

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Zakspeed/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 21st fastest in practice - "Obviously this afternoon was very disappointing. We started out very strong this morning, which was a great way to start the weekend, but this afternoon we couldn't seem to put everything together. The car felt good, but most of all we struggled with traffic. We have a few issues to sort out tonight, but I'm confident we can get back to where we were this morning for qualifying tomorrow."

SCOTT DIXON - # 18 POWERWARE PANASONIC PACWEST TOYOTA Position: 16th Time: 1:08.927s Laps: 43 “We started the session off good – running in the top five for a while,” said Dixon. “As the track warmed up and more rubber was laid down about half way through the first half of the session, I was still able to remain in the top 10. Then we made some changes to the ride height, which I think made the car a bit too low. When we raised it on my next stop, we ended up struggling with the changes. Overall the car was good and tonight we’ll make the necessary adjustments to improve my ride so we can come out strong tomorrow for qualifying.” 


· Tony Kanaan (Hollywood Honda Reynard) will be looking to give Honda its fifth pole position in the past six FedEx Championship Series events at Long Beach, and his second in the past three years. The run began with a pole from Gil de Ferran in 1996 and continued with poles from de Ferran in '97, Kanaan in '99 and de Ferran last year. Bryan Herta's 1998 pole for Ford represents the only interruption in the streak.

· Oriol Servia (Sigma Autosport Ford Lola) will be seeking a career-best FedEx Championship Series start, exceeding seventh at Portland last year in his rookie season.

· Friday's fastest three drivers were all former Dayton Indy Lights champions. Kanaan won the title in 1997, Servia in 1990 and Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) in 1990. Friday's top four drivers were Indy Lights graduates, including Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard), who was fourth on the time sheet.

Friday Afternoon Practice
Driver No/Sponsor/Engine/Chassis Time/Speed
1) Tony Kanaan  No. 55 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Reynard  1:07.759/104.559mph
2) Oriol Servia  No. 22 Sigma Autosport Ford/Lola  1:08.305/103.723
3) Paul Tracy  No. 26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard  1:08.375/103.617
4) Helio Castroneves  No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda/Reynard  1:08.388/103.597
5) Patrick Carpentier  No. 32 Player's/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard  1:08.402/103.576
6) Michael Andretti  No. 39 Team Motorola Honda/Reynard  1:08.513/103.408
7) Roberto Moreno  No. 20 Visteon Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard  1:08.521/103.396
8) Bruno Junqueira  No. 4 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola  1:08.627/103.236
9) Gil de Ferran  No. 1 Marlboro Team Penske Honda/Reynard  1:08.678/103.160
10) Christian Fittipaldi  No. 11 Kmart Newman/Haas Racing Toyota/Lola  1:08.732/103.079
11) Mauricio Gugelmin  No. 17 Nextel PacWest Racing Toyota/Reynard  1:08.777/103.011
12) Jimmy Vasser  No. 40 Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard  1:08.824/102.941
13) Shinji Nakano  No. 52 Avex/Alpine Fernandez Racing Honda/Reynard  1:08.845/102.909
14) Nicolas Minassian  No. 12 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola  1:08.886/102.848 
15) Michel Jourdain Jr.  No. 16 Herdez/Corona Extra Bettenhausen Ford/Lola  1:08.918/102.800
16) Scott Dixon  No. 18 Powerware PacWest Racing Toyota/Reynard  1:08.927/102.787
17) Max Wilson  No. 25 Arciero/Brooke Racing Phoenix/Reynard  1:08.982/102.705
18) Dario Franchitti  No. 27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard  1:09.001/102.677
19) Alex Tagliani  No. 33 Player's/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard  1:09.147/102.460
20) Kenny Brack  No. 8 Shell Team Rahal Ford/Lola  1:09.169/102.427
21) Bryan Herta  No. 77 Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard  1:09.213/102.362
22) Alex Zanardi  No. 66 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Reynard  1:09.404/102.081
23) Cristiano da Matta  No. 6 Texaco/Havoline Newman/Haas Racing Toyota/Lola  1:09.644/101.729
24) Adrian Fernandez  No. 51 Tecate/Quaker State Fernandez Racing Honda/Reynard  1:09.752/101.571
25) Max Papis  No. 7 Miller Lite Team Rahal Ford/Lola  1:09.823/101.468
26) Tora Takagi  No. 5 Pioneer/Denso Walker Racing Toyota/Reynard  1:09.935/101.305
27) Michael Krumm  No. 19 The Dark Dog Dale Coyne Racing Ford/Lola  1:10.598/100.354
28) Luiz Garcia Jr.  No. 21 Embratel Dale Coyne Racing Ford/Lola  1:12.945/97.125
Friday Morning Practice
Driver No/Sponsor/Engine/Chassis Time/Speed

1) Alex Tagliani

  No. 33 Player's/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard


2) Tony Kanaan

  No. 55 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Reynard


3) Patrick Carpentier

  No. 32 Player's/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard


4) Dario Franchitti

  No. 27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard


5) Bryan Herta

  No. 77 Zakspeed/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard


6) Michael Andretti

  No. 39 Team Motorola Honda/Reynard


7) Helio Castroneves

  No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda/Reynard


8) Max Wilson

  No. 25 Arciero/Brooke Racing Phoenix/Reynard


9) Roberto Moreno

  No. 20 Visteon Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard


10) Kenny Brack

  No. 8 Shell Team Rahal Ford/Lola


11) Christian Fittipaldi

  No. 11 Kmart Newman/Haas Racing Toyota/Lola


12) Scott Dixon

  No. 18 Powerware PacWest Racing Toyota/Reynard


13) Jimmy Vasser

  No. 40 Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard


14) Mauricio Gugelmin

  No. 17 Nextel PacWest Racing Toyota/Reynard


15) Bruno Junqueira

  No. 4 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola


16) Nicolas Minassian

  No. 12 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola


17) Paul Tracy

  No. 26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard


18) Michel Jourdain Jr.

  No. 16 Herdez/Corona Extra Bettenhausen Ford/Lola


19) Alex Zanardi

  No. 66 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Reynard


20) Adrian Fernandez

  No. 51 Tecate/Quaker State Fernandez Racing Honda/Reynard


21) Oriol Servia

  No. 22 Sigma Autosport Ford/Lola


22) Max Papis

  No. 7 Miller Lite Team Rahal Ford/Lola


23) Tora Takagi

  No. 5 Pioneer/Denso Walker Racing Toyota/Reynard


24) Gil de Ferran

  No. 1 Marlboro Team Penske Honda/Reynard


25) Cristiano da Matta

  No. 6 Texaco/Havoline Newman/Haas Racing Toyota/Lola


26) Shinji Nakano

  No. 52 Avex/Alpine Fernandez Racing Honda/Reynard


27) Michael Krumm

  No. 19 The Dark Dog Dale Coyne Racing Ford/Lola


28) Luiz Garcia Jr.

  No. 21 Embratel Dale Coyne Racing Ford/Lola


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