VANCOUVER, B.C., (Sept. 4, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will share row two when the green flag drops for tomorrow's 90-lap Molson Indy Vancouver at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. They will line up behind a front row made up...
VANCOUVER, B.C., (Sept. 4, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will share row two when the green flag drops for tomorrow's 90-lap Molson Indy Vancouver at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. They will line up behind a front row made up of P.J. Jones and points leader Juan Montoya, who earned his sixth pole of the season today.
Montoya posted a time of 1:00.641 seconds, averaging 105.730 mph around the 1.781-mile street circuit. His quick time was 0.236 seconds better than Jones, who clocked a lap of 1:00.877 seconds (105.321 mph). Tracy, meanwhile, began the day 27th after failing a post-qualifying technical inspection yesterday. He responded to the challenge of driving in the slower group today by earning the third position on the grid with a time of 1:00.913 seconds (105.258 mph).
Franchitti, who won the provisional pole yesterday, fought an ill-handling car in qualifying. He still managed to improve his time, despite hitting a wall and sliding off the course on several occasions. After repairs, he wound up fourth quickest and will start on the outside of row two with a time of 1:00.952 seconds (105.191 mph).
Montoya earned a single point for the pole today, extending his championship lead over Franchitti to five points, 173-168. The battle for the championship continues tomorrow with the race broadcast live on ABC-TV at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (4th with a lap-time of 1:00.952 seconds / 105.191 mph)
"I touched the wall very early in the session and damaged the car. It was very nervous, which was something we haven't experienced all weekend. So maybe I knocked the tracking out or something. I managed to make it back to the pits and the guys from Team KOOL Green did a great job getting the car back together. We went from having a great car this morning and yesterday, to having an undriveable one for qualifying. After repairs, I was just hanging onto the car for the whole session trying to put a time together. We think that because of the impact, the car may have been cross-weighted and one tire was light under braking. So, it was pretty interesting out there. I was just trying to get a clear lap in traffic. One of our worst sessions, I'd say. I think we have a great race car though. We went almost as fast with our race setup in this morning's practice, as we did in qualifying."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (3rd with a lap-time of 1:00.913 seconds / 105.258 mph)
"I'm pretty happy with the way qualifying turned out. It saved our skins a little bit because the track was getting quicker. I'm pretty satisfied because with everything that has happened to us this weekend, it's finally turned around a little for Team KOOL Green. When the guys in the second session went quick on their first set of tires, I thought that they'd surely be faster than me on their second set. P.J. [Jones] did a good job today, but in the end he made a mistake which helped me out. I'll buy him dinner."
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship - FINAL QUALIFYING
Team KOOL Green's Alex Gurney will start from the third row in tomorrow's 38-lap KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Gurney was sixth in qualifying with a time of 1:11.739 seconds (89.373 mph).
Alex Tagliani earned his third pole position of the season today, speeding around the 1.781-mile Vancouver street circuit in 1:10.638 seconds (90.767 mph). Tagliani edged out Buddy Rice, who will start on the outside of the first row after a lap of 1:10.717 (90.665 mph). Points leader Anthony Lazzaro will start third on the grid (1:10.734 seconds / 90.643 mph).
ALEX GURNEY, #27 Team KOOL Green Toyota/Swift: (6th with a lap-time of 1:11.739 seconds / 89.373 mph)
"It was one of the best sessions that I've had all season. The KOOL car felt good and I didn't even make a pit stop. I stayed out there the whole time. We could have made some changes, but there was only about five minutes left. So, I just slowed down and cooled off for a minute and then tried to go for a couple more good laps. I'm pretty happy, especially after the problems we had in earlier sessions [engine change]. It helped that I was able to follow Anthony Lazzaro. I got to see where he was quick and where he wasn't quick. I think I know now. Hopefully, we can have a good start and move up."