Tracy stays on top in opening practice

St. Petersburg race winner Paul Tracy kept his place at the top of the charts by pacing Friday morning's Champ Car practice sessions at Monterrey, Mexico

Tracy stays on top in opening practice

The Canadian managed a lap of 1m18.781s (96.145 mph) in his Player's/Forsythe Lola-Ford to edge Michel Jourdain Jnr by 0.004 second with Newman/Haas Racing team-mates Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais just another tenth of a second slower. Tracy didn't put much stock in the Friday practice sessions because of the dirtiness of the Monterrey track, a temporary road course that wind's through Fundidora Park. But he was pleased to emerge on top.

"It really doesn't mean much because the first 50 minutes were useless from the dust," said the Canadian. "But it's always a boost for the team to end up fastest."

Mario Dominguez was fifth overall and second fastest of the four Mexicans in the field, 0.6 second off Tracy's pace. The top 10 was rounded out by Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez, Alex Tagliani, Oriol Servia and Darren Manning, who was fourth fastest in the opening 50-minute session.

Barring rain, lap times are expected to tumble throughout the weekend. Kenny Brack established the track's Champ Car lap record in 2001 at 1m15.244s.

Stay tuned to autosport.com for all the action from Monterrey.

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