Denver Practice: Haberfeld's surprise

Mario Haberfeld paced Champ Car practice on Friday morning at the Denver street course on a day when both Forsythe Racing drivers suffered almost identical accidents

Denver Practice: Haberfeld's surprise

Brazilian Haberfeld, driving an unfancied Reynard for the Conquest team, turned a 1m01.590s (96.269 mph) lap as the chequered flag flew to end the second 50-minute practice. That lap was marginally faster than the 1m01.632s lap Paul Tracy completed just seconds before he wiped the rear wing off his Forsythe Lola after overcooking it into Turn 1. Tracy had been fastest in the opening practice with a 1m02.181s lap.

Tracy's accident in the second session was a mirror image of the wreck suffered by his team-mate Patrick Carpentier during the first. The French-Canadian's car looked far worse for wear, but the Forsythe crew turned around repairs fast enough for Patrick to log 11 laps in the second session, running ninth fastest.

Roberto Moreno had the only other crash in practice, shearing the left-rear corner off his Herdez Competition Lola at Turn 7 early in the first practice. Oriol Servia also caused a red flag when he spun, but the Spaniard's Patrick Lola didn't make contact with anything solid.

Haberfeld's best outings during his rookie Champ Car season have come at street courses, topped by his fourth place finish in the season-opener at St. Petersburg. Darren Manning had the second quickest Reynard, running seventh some 0.6s off Haberfeld's pace.

The top five were covered by less than 0.2s, with Mario Dominguez, Bruno Junqueira and Adrian Fernandez trailing Haberfeld and Tracy.

Denver organizers put in a lot of effort to make the 1.647-mile street course smoother than it was for the event's debut in 2002. Bridgestone has been forced to bring an exceptionally durable tyre, given that temperatures are expected to vary wildly throughout the weekend and rain is predicted for Saturday.

"The Denver track is remembered for being quite slick in several areas last year," said Bridgestone Motorsport executive director Al Speyer. "Measures have been taken by track officials to address that issue, and we're hopeful the drivers will find more grip throughout the course this year. We believe returning with the same tire specification as last year is the proper decision because it supplies the necessary grip while retaining the durability necessary to cope with the high altitude heat we might see and the removal of traction control this year in the Champ Cars."

shares
comments
Protex builds on Le Mans success
Previous article

Protex builds on Le Mans success

Next article

Qualifying 1: Junqueira nabs pole

Qualifying 1: Junqueira nabs pole
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021