Fernandez sets practice pace

Adrian Fernandez put any lingering bad memories of the Surfers Paradise street circuit behind him by pacing Friday's Champ Car World Series practice sessions

Fernandez sets practice pace

The Mexican, dubbed 'Braveheart' by the local newspaper after sustaining a broken back in a startline accident at Australia in 2002, ran a lap of 1m34.836s (106.099 mph) in his Lola-Ford. That was 0.3s faster than Rocketsports' Alex Tagliani who was another two tenths quicker than Oriol Servia (Patrick Racing).

Newman/Haas team-mates Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais ran fourth and fifth fastest. CART championship leader Paul Tracy was quickest in the first 50-minute session but wiped the left-front corner off his Forsythe Lola/Ford by hitting the wall at the first chicane during the second practice. Defending Surfers winner Mario Dominguez crashed in the same place as Tracy, inflicting slightly less damage.

Junqueira and Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain will be going all out in qualifying in an effort to gain the championship point and front row starting spot on offer. Friday afternoon's qualifying session could be affected by rain, with a line of showers set to move into the Gold Coast from the mountains in New South Wales.

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