Qualifying at Gateway for the Lynx Racing team was indeed a matter of inches... and half a second. The matter of inches came into play in the final practice session on Friday morning, a session in which Lynx driver Mike Conte set...
Qualifying at Gateway for the Lynx Racing team was indeed a matter of inches... and half a second. The matter of inches came into play in the final practice session on Friday morning, a session in which Lynx driver Mike Conte set the second fastest-time and then, by his own admission "...got a little greedy" and put it into the turn 2 wall. The impact was not great, about 1g, but the car slid some distance, hitting both the outside and inside walls and tearing off all four corners. Conte was not injured, and said of the accident, "Finding the limit on an oval is a matter of inches, and I missed it by about six. The fact that I was second-fastest in the session is some consolation to me, but unfortunately the guys on the crew were at the track until 4 a.m. and then back again at 7 a.m., to resurrect the car from the dead and get me out in the warm-up session before the race. These guys are magicians, and I hope I can provide a result that will make it all worthwhile." Due to the accident, Conte was unable to qualify, and thus will start from the back of the pack in Saturday's race. Lynx driver Buddy Rice had a less eventful qualifying, setting a lap of 0:30.868 sec. (148.11 mph) around he 1.27-mile Gateway oval to secure fifth place on the starting grid. On the pole is Anthony Lazzaro with a time of 0:30.321 sec. - just half a second faster, barely the time it takes to say "half." In second is Andrew Bordin, followed by Alexandre Tagliani and Lee Bentham. "Half a second is hardly any time at all in the real world, but to a driver in a race on a track like this, it's a lot," said Rice. "We're still working on our setups, and we're getting there. I think we'll have a competiive car for the race, and on an oval, racecraft and luck play a big role. It's a 60-lap race which is long enough for almost anything to happen, but too short to worry about strategy, so we'll be going flat-out from the moment the green flag drops." Atlantic Schedule of Events:
Saturday, May 29 12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m. Atlantic Warm-Up 5:30 p.m. Atlantic Race (50 laps)
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 5 ESPN2 / ESPN International RDS /French (local listings) 5:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 8 ESPN2 (Repeat) 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 8 CTV / Canada / English 4:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. Friday, June 11 ESPN2 (Repeat)
Round 4 of the 12-race 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship is set for Saturday, June 5, at the Milwaukee Mile, part of the Miller Lite 225 weekend.