CHAMPCAR/CART: Brack claims front row start for Long Beach

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<pre> # Driver Time (sec) Speed (mph) 1 Helio Castroneves 68.556 103.343 2 Kenny Brack 69.097 102.534 3 Tony Kanaan 69.223 102.347 4 Cristiano da Matta 69.312 102.216 13 Max Papis 70.093 101.077 </pre> After a difficult first day at Long Beach things turned around dramatically for Team Rahal on Saturday. Weather factored into the day as intermittent showers turned the sessions into a juggling act between dry and wet setups. Kenny Brack paced the morning session with a fast lap of 87.530 mph in the rain. Max Papis in the Miller Lite car finished fourth in the session with a fast lap of 86.942 mph.

The second (fast) qualifying session began with showers, but as the rain ended the teams quickly switched back to slick tires and dry setups. Brack and Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves alternated in holding the pole position in the final five minutes of the session. Brack finished the qualifying session second with a lap of 102.534 mph, his second consecutive front row start and the first time a Team Rahal driver has started consecutive races on the front row since Bryan Herta had three consecutive front row starts in 1999.

Max Papis qualified 13th with a fast lap of 101.077 mph after the Miller Lite team made dramatic improvements in the grip and handling of the car.

Max Papis - Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola - "Early in qualifying, the track was very slick especially in the back straight. My car wanted to swap ends in several corners. I felt like I was a passenger and not the driver at times. We got the car better as qualifying went on but it was still loose with oversteer. Finally, when my car was pretty good, I got caught up traffic. That is very frustrating for a driver. Our series is so competitive that you really need a clean lap for a good time. I wasn't able to get the most of the car today. Now it will be harder to move to the front for Sunday."

Kenny Brack - Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola - "I think we could have improved the car a little more coming into today. But I didn't get to run the last 15 minutes on Friday due to an electrical problem. It was anyone's guess entering today's qualifying with those conditions. I hoped the first session guys would dry up for us in the second session. Michael Andretti put on the slicks first and everyone followed. I went a little too far into the corner on the last lap and I went straight off the track. I know it would have been tough had it rained all of our session and we would have had a mid-field start. But the qualifying system is pretty fair with the championship points. At least you have a chance to move into the fast session with a good finish in the races. This is my second race here so I have a better idea for the race this time. Last year I really didn't know what to expect at Long Beach. I think we'll have the car to run up front."

-Team Rahal-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske