At your service today and throughout the weekend are Adam Saal (CART Vice President of Communications), Merrill Cain (Senior Manager, Public Relations), Eric Mauk (Manager, News) and Kelby Krauss (News Associate). Feel free to contact any of the above for help or information regarding Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. and the CART FedEx Championship Series.
This weekend will mark the 19th consecutive year the CART FedEx Championship Series has raced in Portland. The course layout at Portland measures 1.969-miles in length, and is the fourth road or street course event of the 2002 season (Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey, Round 1, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Round 2 and last weekends Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Shell 300, Round 5). The CART FedEx Championship Series G.I. Joes 200 on Sunday will consist of 110 laps (216.590 miles), shortened from the original race distance of 115 laps (226.435 miles).
Fuel Allotment--The calculated distance of the race is 222.497 miles, including two parade laps and one pace lap. The fuel allotment for this race is 120.3 US gallons based on 1.85 miles per gallon, pursuant to 9.6.1B of the 2002 Rule Book.
Pit Stops--The maximum lap interval for pit stops will be 30 laps.
NOTEWORTHY: The #6 Newman/Haas Racing entry will be piloted by Cristiano da Matta, but is named the Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone this weekend, as it will be for a total of six West coast events this season.
CART FedEx Championship Series Starter Jim Swintal waves the GREEN FLAG at 10 a.m. to open the first session of practice at Portland International Raceway for the Champ Cars.
At 10:06 a.m., A number of cars take their initial tour of Portland and assess the course, then come in to make adjustments.
At 10:09 a.m., #33X TAGLIANI turns the fastest lap early on with a 1:02.074 (114.193 mph).
RED FLAG at 10:14 a.m. for #44 DIXON who locked up the brakes and had the rear of the car come around on him at the end of the straightaway entering the chicane in Turn 1. #27 FRANCHITTI now has the fastest time with a 1:00.643 (166.887 mph), followed by #51 FERNANDEZ and #20 BELL.
At 10:18 a.m., #44 DIXON has been started on the bump and continues back to pit lane where he will serve an eight-minute penalty for the stoppage.
GREEN FLAG at 10:19 a.m.
At 10:24 a.m., #39 ANDRETTI shortcut the chicane at Turn 1 and his lap time will be disallowed.
At 10:28 a.m., #26 TRACY spun and continued at Turn 1. #44 DIXON has served his penalty.
At 10:30 a.m., #4 JUNQUEIRA tops the speed chart and is the first to go under a minute with a lap of 59.973 seconds (118.193 mph).
RED FLAG at 10:31 a.m., for #6 DA MATTA who has spun drivers left at the apex of the chicane in Turn 1. Da Matta will be towed back to pit lane and serve a penalty.
GREEN FLAG at 10:35 a.m., A number of teams have switched from backup to primary cars.
At 10:43 a.m., The penalty to #6 DA MATTA has expired.
At 10:47 a.m., #11 FITTIPALDI tops the speed chart on his 13th lap at 59.781 seconds (118.573 mph) followed by #4 JUNQUEIRA at 59.973 seconds (118.193 mph), #6 DA MATTA at 1:00.072 (117.998 mph), #12 BRACK at 1:00.448 (117.264 mph) and #51 FERNANDEZ at 1:00.462 (117.237 mph).
At 10:53 a.m., #9 JOURDAIN spins and continues in Turn 6.
At 10:59 a.m., #32 CARPENTIER is off and on at Turn 11, then pulls off course and stops the engine. #6 DA MATTA is now seconds-fastest with a lap of 59.856 seconds (118.424 mph). Three cars now under one minute.
At 11:12 a.m., #5 TAKAGI has moved into the fifth position on the speed chart with a 1:00.461 (117.239 mph), only to have the spot taken away by #26 TRACY with a 1:00.437 (117.286 mph).
RED FLAG at 11:13 a.m., #44 DIXON has mechanical difficulties exiting Turn 10 and pulls off course.
GREEN FLAG at 11:21 a.m., #44 DIXON will serve an eight-minute penalty. The Simple Green CART Safety Team had to perform extensive clean up for oil that Dixons machine left on course.
RED FLAG at 11:27 a.m. for #9 JOURDAIN who spun entering Turn 1 and backed over a course cone that remains lodged under the left rear of his machine. The incident results in a CHECKERED FLAG on the session. #11 FITTIPALDI is fastest in the session with a lap of 59.781 seconds (118.573 mph), followed by #6 DA MATTA at 59.856 seconds (118.424 mph), #4 JUNQUEIRA at 59.973 seconds (118.193 mph), #12 BRACK at 1:00.061 (118.020 mph) and #26 TRACY at 1:00.437 (117.286 mph).
Bridgestone Tire engineers report that track temperatures ranged from 91° to 101° F, and air temperature from 73° to 76° F, during the first Champ Car practice session at Portland.
CART FedEx Championship Series action continues this afternoon with the first round of qualifying (2:103:10 p.m.).