First Practice: Brack's last gasp lap

Cristian da Matta set the pace through most of Friday opening Champ Car practice session at the Portland, Oregon road course, but da Matta was beaten in the closing minutes by Helio Castroneves and Kenny Brack.

First Practice: Brack's last gasp lap

Championship leader Brack turned the fastest lap of 58.606s on his last lap of the session, shading both Castroneves and da Matta. That meant it was Lola-Ford, Reynard-Honda and Lola-Toyota in the first three places.

Last weekend's winner Castroneves said he and the other Honda drivers were struggling to get the best from their engines at Portland. The 1.969-mile road course features two long straightaways and an average speed around 120 mph, so horsepower is more important in Portland than in was at last weekend's tight Detroit park circuit.

"We're down five mph on the straightaways," Castroneves said. "It makes our job much harder. It's ridiculous, a shame, but we've got to get on with our job. The main thing for all the Honda drivers is to survive the race. My car is great in the corners and I'm really pushing hard, but I have to say I'm hoping for rain for the race. That's what the weather forecast says will happen, so I hope they're right."

Indeed the weather in Portland is supposed to slowly deteriorate throughout the weekend, with cool weather and clouds yielding to run on Sunday.

shares
comments
Frankly Franchitti
Previous article

Frankly Franchitti

Next article

Final Friday Practice: Helio fastest Brazilian

Final Friday Practice: Helio fastest Brazilian
The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad Plus

The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad

A trail blazed in Esports has inspired a revamp of the annual prize that aims to discover the best young engineering talent. Autosport met Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future winner Michael Preston

General
Jan 18, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

General
Dec 26, 2022
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
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