Monterey, CA (September 8, 2000) -- PPI Motorsports rookie Daniel Wheldon (Jayhard Products/Swift 008.a) captured the provisional pole for Saturday's Round 10 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race at Laguna Seca Raceway. ...
Monterey, CA (September 8, 2000) -- PPI Motorsports rookie Daniel Wheldon (Jayhard Products/Swift 008.a) captured the provisional pole for Saturday's Round 10 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race at Laguna Seca Raceway. Wheldon, who trails current Atlantic points leader Buddy Rice in the championship by 22 points, clocked a 1:19.704 (101.084 mph) on his next to last lap during Friday's first qualifying period. Canadians David Rutledge (Lynx Racing/Swift 008.a) and Andrew Bordin (PPI Motorsports/WorldCom/Swift 008.a) were second and third quickest posting a 1:20.094 (100.592 mph) and 1:20.213 (100.443 mph) respectively.
Wheldon, who was fastest in the morning practice session, earned three consecutive pole positions earlier in the season (Miami 2, Long Beach, Milwaukee) but has not started on the front row since July's round seven race in Toronto.
"I am pleased to be on the top on my first time here," says Wheldon. "However, I think tomorrow will be much faster. Probably a low 1:19 second lap for sure wins the pole. Overall I'm pretty happy with my car and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow. Once again, PPI has done a fantastic job. They always give you a car that can run in front. It's a fantastic team."
Vancouver native David Rutledge was second quickest in Friday's session. Currently in sixth place in the championship, Rutledge scored his only pole position of the season in Montreal, site of his first ever-Atlantic win.
"We had a car that still had plenty left in it, and I'm really looking forward to finding that tomorrow," says Rutledge. "The track was much better this afternoon, but with people going off during the session, you had to be careful of the gravel on the track. The team has found a setup that really works for the car and we are feeling pretty racy these days. The team is really making progress and we're not only working on doing well in the last three races, but also on getting a running start for next season."
Andrew Bordin, who is currently tied for third in the championship with Argentinean Martin Basso (Michael Shank Racing/3b Engine Valve/Swift 008.a), trails series leader Rice by 38 points.
"I was a little loose around here," Bordin remarked. "I need to have a good look at the data and see where I can improve. This is a great team. We all work together very well. We share information and try our best to help each other out. My engineer, Kyle does a setup on both cars and then Dan tweaks on his and he and Nick go from there. So it really works to both of our advantage. Some times they find things that help us and vice-versa."
Series points leader Rice was fifth quickest.
Friday's qualifying session was cut short by five minutes after Stephan C. Roy made contact in the corkscrew bringing out the second red flag of the session. The first red flag period came when Brazilian Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/Swift 008.a) stalled on the course between turns two and three.
The second qualifying session for Saturday's race, will be held Saturday morning at 8:10 a.m. The 30-lap, 67.14 mile Round 10 is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m.