Practice 1: Dixon leads slow session

CART ahead of first practice that the new Miami street circuit would come in for criticism from the Champ Car drivers. The opening practice session proved true to form, with a number of stoppages due to the slippery surface.

Practice 1: Dixon leads slow session

The American Le Mans Series and Trans-Am cars took to the track prior to the Champ Cars, but there was still no grip after three hours of track activity. That resulted in remarkably slow speeds, topped by Scott Dixon at just over 81 mph for the 1.387-mile lap. His best lap of 1m01.590s was less than three seconds quicker than ALMS pacesetter Tom Kristensen's Audi.

Christian Fittipaldi was fastest through most of the session in his Newman/Haas Lola-Toyota, and he wound up just three hundredths slower than Dixon's Ganassi Lola-Toyota at 1m01.620s. Paul Tracy was the only other driver to break the 62-second barrier.

Dixon brushed the wall twice during his fastest tour, an indication of how tight and slick the Miami streets were.

"There's just no grip," said the Kiwi. "I'm hopeful that another couple days of running will help, but it's a test right now."

Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti ran fourth and fifth in their Lola-Hondas to head Kenny Brack and top Ford-Cosworth man Patrick Carpentier.

Team Rahal's Jimmy Vasser was the only driver who significantly damaged his car. The American backed his primary Lola-Ford into the Turn 10 wall before he even turned a hot lap. Tracy, his team-mate Dario Franchitti and Mario Dominguez also brought out the red flag during the session after spinning and stalling on course.

Franchitti completed only 14 laps and was 16th fastest at 1m04.793s.

"The track's terrible," he remarked. "I thought we hit a new low at Denver, but they've gone to another level here."

Scott Dixon Lola-Toyota 1m01.590s 81.072mph
Christian Fittipaldi Lola-Toyota 1m01.620s 82.032mph
Paul Tracy Lola-Honda 1m01.885s 80.685mph
Tony Kanaan Lola-Honda 1m02.428s 79.983mph
Michael Andretti Lola-Honda 1m02.493s 79.900mph
Kenny Brack Lola-Toyota 1m02.610s 79.751mph
Patrick Carpentier Reynard-Cosworth 1m02.690s 79.649mph
Adrian Fernandez Lola-Honda 1m02.813s 79.493mph
Alex Tagliani Reynard-Cosworth 1m02.970s 79.295mph
Cristiano da Matta Lola-Toyota 1m03.050s 79.194mph

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