homestead 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 1

Homestead Motorsports Complex
Homestead, Florida
March 1, 1996

Friday Quotes from drivers and managers at Homestead:

Index of Quotes available


Rahal Pict #18 Miller Racing
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


following morning practice "I must congratulate Ralph (Sanchez, Miami Motorsports president) and his staff for this facility. It's just tremendous. This track is to motor racing what Jacobs Field (in Cleveland) is to baseball; just a state of the art facility. With the construction of new tracks like Homestead, our sport has taken another big jump in making motor racing a major attraction and a great corporate marketing tool."

[following afternoon practice] "The track was pretty slick in the morning session and we had nothing but problems with (turbo) boost. I think I might have gotten in a dozen laps or so. I guess the track (people) put a sealer on the track surface since Spring Training, and that made the conditions tough. This afternoon, the boost still wasn't what we wanted, but we got a little time to work on the chassis. It's funny, but you actually have to drive it like Indy. You drive the car in the corners pretty hard, and then let the car settle in the short chutes. With the wind this afternoon, the car wanted to bounce around in Turns 3 and 4. Racing will be very interesting with the traffic and the wind."

Krosnoff Pict #25 Arciero-Wells Racing
Reynard Toyota


following afternoon practice "We struggled a bit today. We lost a full second from the lap time we ran here during Spring Training (a weeklong testing event held here Feb. 5-9). I don't know where the time went. Everything on the car seems to be O.K. The Reynard chassis feels pretty good and I'm comfortable in the car , we're just slow. We had a few gremlins creep in today that we haven't faced in testing, like unexpectedly running out of gas. It's all very frustrating, but it is part of the process to develop our Reynard Toyota package."

Ribeiro Pict #31 LCI International
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


following afternoon practice "We had to run the backup car in the first session because we had a few problems, so we are really just starting. I think we are getting there, but I need more time in the car."

Adrian Pict #32 Tecate Beer/Quaker State
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


following afternoon practice "The main thing that Steve (Horne) and Diane (Holl) have told me is not to panic; to take it one step at a time. We need to make a few more adjustments on the car, but it is getting better. We have a good base to grow from, and we need to keep our heads in one direction and keep working."

Green Pict #1 Brahma Sports Team
Reynard Ford Cosworth XD
Team owner


following afternoon practice "We had some electrical problems on our primary car this morning. The engine was cutting out intermittently, so we stopped with about 15 minutes to go. We think we have the problem fixed, but don't really know because we had a minor fuel leak on the car just as we were warming it up before the second practice session. It wasn't a big problem, but we didn't want to risk anything, so we switched to the backup car."

Boesel Pict #1 Brahma Sports Team
Reynard Ford Cosworth


following afternoon practice "The track conditions have changed quite a lot since we tested here (at Spring Training). First of all, they put a sealer on the surface in the corners, which has made it very slippery. You can feel the car has less grip (than before). Also, this afternoon, the car slides more than this morning. I think the track is a bit slower. We need to improve the car."

Gil Pict #8 Pennzoil Special
Reynard Honda
Hall Racing


following afternoon practice "We did what we set out to do today. I ran the other (backup) car for a brief time this morning, but I am in the car I hope to qualify and race. What we accomplished today was all done on the same set of Goodyear tires, so I am very confident that we can improve for qualifications. What everybody says about the track is true. It is a one-groove race track, very difficult to overtake other drivers unless they are running very slow."

Herta Pict #28 Shell
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


following afternoon practice We lost something in the back of the car this afternoon (Herta's primary car lost power midway through his session). I don't know if it was the engine or the rear end, but the car just stopped. I jumped into the backup car and it felt pretty good. The wind made a big difference entering Turn Three. There was a big tail wind. I think we have a good car for the race. We ran a lot of laps on the old tires with 25 gallons of fuel and ran in the low 29s (seconds). I'm really pleased with the direction my team is going with the car."

Gordon Pict #5 Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford


following afternoon practice "Looking at all of the other guys out there, we're in pretty good shape. We worked on our race setup this afternoon. We put on new tires toward the end of the session, but we still had too much fuel in the car and we weren't at the right optimum lap on our tires. The tires really mean a lot if you catch their optimum lap with your optimum lap. It could be worth almost half-a-second."

(On Saturday qualifying "I think we definitely have a shot at the pole. I think there are a few guys that you have to watch for the pole position at the season-opener. If you can get the pole for the first race of the year, it builds a lot of confidence for the team and for the driver. And hopefully, if you're on the pole, it will give you some momentum for the championship."

Goodyear Pict #15 Valvoline DuraBlend Special
Reynard Ford Cosworth
Walker Racing


"Well, I'm not very happy. I'm still not very comfortable in the car going into the turns. It's still a bit too nervous for my liking, so it's something we're going to have to work on in order to make it comfortable for me. Until that happens, we're not going to be able to bring the time down. The car seems comfortable for Robby (Gordon), but it's not to my liking. It seems like our styles are going to be different, but we really don't know yet.

I haven't had a lot of miles in a car since last September, let alone here at Homestead. So, we'll go back and work on making it work."

On Saturday qualifying "My goal is to move up further than we are right now, so we can start further up on the grid. It's important to be reasonably close to the front, because I think it will be difficult to pass. We won't really know that until 20 or 30 laps into it."