FRANCHITTI FOURTH IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING
TORONTO, Ont., (July 17, 1998) - After day one of qualifying at the Molson Indy, Alex Zanardi holds the provisional pole with a lap of 58.737 seconds at 105.480 mph. Zanardi's fast lap came with four seconds remaining in the session, unseating Gil de Fer ran's time of 58.862 seconds at 105.256 mph. Michael Andretti was third quickest, clocking a time of 59.002 seconds at 105.007 mph.
Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti had the fourth fastest car on track today, powering his way around the 1.721-mile street circuit in 59.281 seconds at 104.512 mph. Franchitti's teammate, Paul Tracy, struggled to find the right setup on his back-up car.
He spun into a wall in the morning practice session, damaging his primary car. Tracy's qualifying time of 1:01.136 seconds at 101.343 mph has him 22nd on the provisional grid.
Tomorrow's qualifying session begins with the first group at 12:45 p.m. ET, while the faster group is on track at 1:30 p.m.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (4th with a lap-time of 59.281 seconds at 104.512 mph)
"I got a quick time in at the start (second lap) when it was half dry. Then it started to rain harder and I couldn't get another. We stopped early and saved a set of tires for the race. The car is pretty good and we'll try again tomorrow."
DON HALLIDAY, ENGINEER FOR #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE:
"That was a mixed session. The track was little bit greasy and we decided not to go out on the second set of tires and save them for the race. You have two chances - today and tomorrow. We decided with the conditions not being 100% to give it a go tomo rrow. Hopefully the weather will be better."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (22nd with a lap-time of 1:01.136 seconds at 101.343 mph)
"We're still fighting the setup. I just can't seem to get any grip in the car. The conditions were so weird. The first couple of laps mattered the most and we couldn't get a good lap in then. We'll try again tomorrow."
BARRY GREEN, TEAM KOOL GREEN OWNER: "It's really hit and miss with the rain. If you're lucky and you're tires are hot, you do okay. If you miss that lap, then you're struggling a little bit. We went in today wanting to conserve one set of tires and we did just that."
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR THE PPG-DAYTON INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP:
Spanish driver Oriol Servia edged out Team KOOL Green's Naoki Hattori for the provisional pole with his final lap, completing the 1.721-mile Toronto street circuit in 1:05.724 seconds at 94.267 mph. Hattori had the quickest lap moments before the checker ed flag came out with a time of 1:05.822 seconds at 94.127 mph. French driver Didier Andre stands third with a lap of 1:05.941 seconds at 93.957 mph.
NAOKI HATTORI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN LOLA: (2nd with a lap-time of 1:05.822 seconds at 94.127 mph) "I like the track; it's my favorite on the circuit. We had a pretty good car for this morning's practice. We made many changes for qualifying - roll bar, dampers and ride height. The car is very good now. We only used one set of tires because tomorro w is more important."
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP:
Canadian teammates Lee Bentham and Alex Tagliani are one-two in provisional qualifying. Bentham holds the pole with a lap of 1:07.877 seconds at 94.618 mph. Tagliani's lap was 1:07.991 seconds at 94.459 mph. Meanwhile, KOOL-sponsored driver Matt Sielsk y stands 15th.
MATT SIELSKY, #16 LCI INTERNATIONAL SWIFT-TOYOTA: (15th with a lap-time of 1:11.417 seconds at 89.928 mph)
"The track is a lot more difficult than I thought. It's really hard to see where to brake and where to turn in, and I still think I'm in the process of doing that. But, every lap seems to get a little better. I've got a good enough read on the track t hat we can start making changes on the car. We've got some ideas for tomorrow, and I think it'll be a good day tomorrow."
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