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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX

Herta Suffers Afternoon Blues

April 07, 2001|DARIN ESPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LONG BEACH — Bryan Herta of Valencia and teammates Rolando Quintanilla of Calabasas and Luis Diaz of Mexico City had engine troubles in afternoon sessions Friday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Herta's Reynard-Ford was fifth fastest in the CART FedEx series morning practice session with a fast lap at 101.638 mph. He spun twice during the afternoon session, clocking the 21st fastest lap in his primary car at 102.362 mph and clocking 41st fastest in his backup car at 95.858.

Tony Kanaan of Brazil, who won the pole in 1999, clocked the fastest lap at 104.559 in the afternoon.

"I just didn't get a lap in," Herta said. "We put new tires on, then the motor went south. We know we could have been in the top eight."

Herta said his team was experimenting with different types of engine tuning when the car started losing power. The Zakspeed/Forsythe crew installed a new engine Friday night for today's qualifying session, from 1:45-3 p.m., and will have a chance to see how the suspension adjustments work in a practice session scheduled from 10-11:15 a.m.

Diaz, driving a car owned by Quintanilla in the Dayton Indy Lights series, had the fastest clocking in the morning session at 91.790 mph but was 11th fastest in provisional qualifying at 90.371. Quintanilla was 12th fastest in the morning session at 89.689, and improved to 90.460 in the afternoon to provisionally qualify 10th.

"[Luis] was having fuel pickup problems and mine had problems with the injectors," Quintanilla said. "We couldn't get any clean laps. We had a total of three laps. We went out with new tires and there was a yellow."

Quintanilla, the youngest owner in the series at 20, said his team will try a new setup on both cars for today's second qualifying session, scheduled from 1-1:30 p.m.

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