Vancouver 1999 - Friday Friday

The weather is warm and sunny on Friday as Juan Montoya prepares for the morning practice session.

10:19 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/500 CF9.5

Juan Montoya
Mark Blundell

Back in the driving seat at PacWest, Mark Blundell slips on his helmet.

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A final check from his crew before the session begins. Note the Cascadia Restaurant ad is white on a clear background today.

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Final Preparations for Mark
Jimmy Vasser

Jimmy Vasser pokes his racing goggles  through into the helmet.

10:27 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/250 CF6.7

Team owner Bobby Rahal.

10:35 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/500 CF9.5

Bobby Rahal
Robby Gordon

Team owner and driver Robby Gordon sits in the newly purchased Eagle chassis during a caution period, waiting for the session to resume.

11:05 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/350 CF8.0

Roberto Moreno, with his distinctive helmet, sits in injured Christian Fittipaldi's car: “The nickname ‘Super Sub’ is just something that happened. It came from being available to drive for teams in a pinch while I was working on getting a full-time ride. Unfortunately something happened to a couple of drivers and I was available to fill in for them.”

11:07 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/250 CF6.7

Roberto Moreno
Michael Andretti

A good view of Michael Andretti’s eyes peeking out from his helmet. “We just can’t get the car to go any faster. We have a lot of work to do on the setup in order to improve for tomorrow. It’s nice to see Roberto up there so at least we know the car is capable.”

11:08 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/250 CF6.7

And his father, Mario Andretti, obliges by sticking out his tongue for my Drivers Sticking Their Tongues Out Gallery.

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Mario Andretti
Cristiano da Matta

Cristiano da Matta sits in the MCI Toyota-Reynard discussing the setup with his race engineer Iain Watt.

11:22 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/250 CF5.6

Last year’s winner, Dario Franchitti, sits in the Team Kool Green Reynard-Honda. “There's a lot of changes since last year,” says Dario. “The changes to the track have us looking for a different set-up. We’re not struggling with the set-up, but we're still certainly trying to improve it all the time.”

11:23 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/350 CF8.0

Dario Franchitti
P.J. Jones

Pretty much everything has been switched around on the number 40 Tecate car - this time its the driver, with P.J. Jones sitting in for injured Adrian Fernandez. Note the car carries both their names just below the roll-bar.

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Back out on the track, Dario puts the car through its paces.

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Dario on Track
Juan on Track

Juan is fifth fastest in provisional qualifying: “We’re getting better, but there still is room for improvement. And the track will be faster tomorrow as well, so we will be working hard tonight.”

11:40 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/700 CF5.6

And Cristiano is also out on the track: “The MCI WorldCom car felt worse this afternoon than it did this morning. I had a lot of push and understeer going through the turns, and I had trouble with my entry into the turns. I felt like I was working really hard out there, and for not a whole lot of results.”

11:47 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/1500 CF5.6

Cristiano on Track
Greg Looks On

Greg Moore: “I really want a win here for many reasons, and it's more personal than professional. With only five races left with the Player's team, I want one for the guys who have given blood, sweat and tears throughout the season.”

11:59 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/500 CF9.5

Jan Magnussen is driving the Visteon car again this weekend. That’s team owner Pat Patrick on his left.

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Jan Magnussen
Naoki Hattori

Naoki Hattori joins the Drivers Sticking Their Tongues Out hall of fame. After I took this he gave me a big smile, obviously very pleased that someone had taken the time to take his photo.

12:00 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/350 CF9.5

Scott Pruett: “I’m not very happy with the car, and that’s puzzling. We just conducted a great test in Sebring, and the Pioneer car’s been really good on street circuits this season. I was hoping we’d be in the top ten right out of the box. I felt that good about it coming in. But it's just not handling right. I feel like I’m running really hard out there, but I’m not getting anywhere.”

12:01 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/350 CF6.7

Scott Pruett
Dario and Not Ashley

Dario greets a friend. Does Ashley Judd know about this?

“I was just trying to get used to the track this morning. It was a bit of trouble to get a clean lap during qualifying. After we went out on the first set of tires, I was debating whether to put a new set on, or whether to save them for the race. I said ‘Aw, let's try it,’ and went out and did one flying lap, and came in and that was it.”

12:03 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/250 CF8.0

Helio Castro-Neves and Michel Jourdain Jr. run into each other in the pits.

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Helio and Michel
Max Headroom

What are Mad Max and the Miller Lite boys studying so intently?

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Ah, it's that signs of the zodiac tattoo. They seem pretty interested in what she's got on the other side too!

12:17 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/350 CF8.0

Take it to the Max
Max and Juan

Here’s Max telling Juan all about it a couple of hours later as they prepare for the provisional qualifying session.

14:23 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/500 CF8.0

Jimmy Vasser gets ready for the afternoon qualifying session. “This is an exciting time of year. Our team knows what it’s like to be in this position, with so much riding on each race. I’ve learned over these first 15 races that Juan is as tough mentally as he is physically. He’s in a good position and he knows I’m here if he’s looking for advice.”

14:25 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/350 CF9.5

Jimmy Puts on his Driving Head
Helio to Go

Helio Castro-Neves sits in the number 9 Lola Mercedes waiting for the session to begin. “Every weekend we learn something new in the Lola and we now have this great momentum going that I feel very confident that things will continue to progress well. The Hogan team has done a top-notch job, even through our dry spell in the middle of the season.”

14:28 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/500 CF9.5

Mark Blundell rounds turn 7. “Unfortunately, we made some gear ratio changes before qualifying that had a bit of a detrimental effect. I had to alter my driving style to accommodate the adjustments. We’ll work on that, but overall we have a good baseline for tomorrow.”

15:29 Fujifilm Nexia A200 SS1/1500 CF5.6

Mark at Turn 7

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Paul Jasper's Web Site | Racing | Vancouver 1999

© 1999 Paul Jasper. Last updated Friday May 06, 2005.