CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland Saturday qualifying notes

Just before the final round of qualifying, the Dale Coyne Racing Group announces that they will use the primary car ...

Just before the final round of qualifying, the Dale Coyne Racing Group announces that they will use the primary car #19 for driver Takuya Kurosawa in the Group One session and all times earned yesterday by the #19X secondary car in Provisional session will be forfeited.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:45 p.m. to start the Group One qualifying session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 118 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 79 degrees F. at the start of the session.

At 1:54 p.m., #10 FONTANA runs off course at Turn 4, but regains control and continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

At 1:55 p.m., 10 minutes into the Group One session, the fastest driver is #96 SERVIA with a lap of 130.145 mph (58.255 seconds), followed by #7 PAPIS (130.071 mph; 58.288 seconds) and #55X HERTA (129.915 mph; 58.358 seconds).

At 1:56 p.m., #55X HERTA logs the fastest lap of the weekend with a timing of 131.129 mph (57.818 seconds) on his ninth lap of the Group One session, temporarily taking the Pole position.

At 2 p.m., 15 minutes into the Group One session, the fastest driver is still #55X HERTA with his earlier lap of 131.129 mph (57.818 seconds), followed by #96 SERVIA (130.391 mph; 58.145 seconds) and #7 PAPIS (130.071 mph; 58.288 seconds).

RED FLAG waves at 2:01 p.m. after #34 MARQUES spins off course making hard contact with the tire barrier at the outside of Turn 8. The driver exits the car under his own power and is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains major damage. MARQUES will receive the standard eight-minute penalty for delaying the qualifying session.

At 2:05 p.m., 20 minutes into the Group One session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is still #55X HERTA with his earlier lap of 131.129 mph (57.818 seconds), followed by #96 SERVIA (130.391 mph; 58.145 seconds) and #7 PAPIS (130.071 mph; 58.288 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:08 p.m. to resume the Group One session. CART Race Control also announces that MARQUES will not be able to re-enter the Group One session as there is only seven minutes left and there is not enough time to serve the eight minute penalty.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 2:09 p.m. to #96 SERVIA for pulling off Pit Road before the Green Flag flew at 2:08 p.m. SERVIA subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive-thru penalty.

At 2:10 p.m., #19 KUROSAWA pulls off course at Turn 5 and parks the car, evidently through for the session.

At 2:13 p.m., #32 CARPENTIER spins at Turn 6 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

At 2:14 p.m., #16X JOURDAIN Jr. runs off course at Turn 8 but continues back on course without apparent damage to the car.

Also at 2:14 p.m., #32 CARPENTIER stalls just past the Start/Finish line, apparently out of fuel.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2:15 p.m. to end the Group One session with #55X HERTA the fastest of the Group One and the weekend with a faster lap of 131.463 mph (57.671 seconds), followed by #96 SERVIA (131.129 mph; 57.818 seconds) and #11X FITTIPALDI (130.850 mph; 57.941 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:30 p.m. to start the final Group Two qualifying session.

At 2:35 p.m., #26 TRACY pulls off course with an engine problem on the back straight on his 5th circuit. The driver exits the car and CART course workers load TRACY into a golf cart with helmet still on for the long ride around the outside of the track, back to his Pit Area where TRACY'S crew is reading his secondary car for use in the remainder of the session.

At 2:37 p.m., #6 ANDRETTI takes the temporary pole with a lap of 131.682 mph (57.575 seconds) on his sixth lap of the session.

At 2:40 p.m., 10 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest driver is still #6 ANDRETTI with his earlier lap of 131.682 mph (57.575 seconds; first-overall), followed by #97 da MATTA (131.664 mph; 57.583 seconds; second-overall) and #27 FRANCHITTI (131.449 mph; 57.677 seconds; fourth-overall).

At 2:47 p.m., TRACY arrives back to his Pit Area and climbs into the #26X car. All times previously earned today and yesterday by the #26 car will be forfeited as #26X pulls on the course. TRACY had improved his times from yesterday in the #26 car by .196 seconds before forfeited all of his times.

At 2:49 p.m., #26X TRACY enters the race track with just over 10 minutes to go in the session.

At 2:50 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest Group Two drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 2:40 p.m. report.

Also at 2:50 p.m., #27 FRANCHITTI re-enters the Group Two qualifying session to defend or better his fourth place on the temporary grid. FRANCHITTI had been sitting in his car in his Pit Stall watching the progress of the competitors before bolting on four new tires and re-entering the session.

At 2:54 p.m., #17X GUGELMIN takes the Pole with a lap of 131.767 mph (57.538 seconds) on his 17th lap of the session.

At 2:55 p.m., #20 MORENO passes GUGELMIN's time with a lap of 132.001 mph (57.436 seconds; 18th lap), followed by #17X GUGELMIN (131.767 mph; 57.538 seconds) and #6 ANDRETTI (131.682 mph; 57.575 seconds).

Also at 2:55 p.m., #26 TRACY runs off course and has a rough ride before pulling back on course at Turn 10.

Again at 2:55 p.m., #1 MONTOYA improves to fifth-best with a speed of 131.623 mph (57.601 seconds) on his 17th lap. RED FLAG waves at 2:56 p.m. after #20 MORENO spins exiting Turn 4 and stalls in the middle of the track. CART safety workers quickly tend to the car and get MORENO restarted but MORENO will receive an eight-minute penalty for delaying the qualifying session, effectively ending MORENO's attempt to better his Pole-holding lap.

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:58 p.m. to resume the Group Two qualifying session with two minutes to go before the Checkered Flag.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 3 p.m. to end the Group Two qualifying session with #20 ROBERTO MORENO winning the Pole for Sunday's race with his lap of 132.001 mph (57.436 seconds). #2X GIL de FERRAN sits second on the grid with his lap of 131.799 mph (57.524 seconds). #17X MAURICIO GUGELMIN winds up third with a lap of 131.767 mph (57.538 seconds). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 25 different cars to the track in the final qualifying session with secondary car utilized by #2X de FERRAN, #17X GUGELMIN, #55X HERTA, #12X VASSER, #11X FITTIPALDI, #26X TRACY, #16X JOURDAIN Jr., and #25X GARCIA Jr. Last years' Pole winner, JUAN MONTOYA wound up sixth on tomorrow's grid. The starting grid features 16 of 25 drivers within one second of the Pole winning time of MORENO. CART drivers logged 472 laps in today's qualifying.

ROBERTO MORENO wins the Pole for Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar by virtue of his 132.001 mph (57.436 second)-lap in his Visteon/ Patrick Racing Ford Reynard! This the first pole in MORENO's CART career with his previous best start a second at Rio de Janeiro in 1997. This is also the first pole for Patrick Racing since SCOTT PRUETT pulled off the feat at Fontana in 1998. MORENO also extends his lead by one more point in the FedEx Championship Series over second place GIL de FERRAN, 69 to 67.

GIL de FERRAN will start second tomorrow, earned with his 131.799 mph (57.524 second)-lap in his Marlboro Team Penske Honda Reynard. This is de FERRAN's fourth front-row start this season, the Brazilian earning two poles and two second-place starts. De FERRAN has qualified among the top five in eight of nine races so far in the 2000 season.

MAURICIO GUGELMIN takes off third on the grid tomorrow in his Nextel/PacWest Racing Mercedes Reynard, logged with a 131.767 mph (57.538 second)-lap. This is GUGELMIN's best start of the 2000 season since a seventh-place start at Japan, and his best career start since second at Japan in 1999.

Today represents the second pole of the season for Ford, TAGLIANI winning the Pole at Rio being the other. MORENO's run also breaks a run of four consecutive poles at Cleveland by Honda (VASSER in 1996, Zanardi in 1997, VASSER in 1998, and MONTOYA in 1999).

This is the best start for a Mercedes-powered car since MARK BLUNDELL started on the outside pole at Chicago last year.

ROBERTO MORENO: "It's been great. What can I say? It's just been fantastic. I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who helped me get to this place. I was emotional today because I think my last pole in a series this competitive was in 1988 in Formula 3000. Yesterday we were developing the car, and today it was really good. It was a great day for the Visteon crew. Again, I want to thank everybody, there's so many friends. They told me to keep going and it's just great to get the pole when it's this competitive. It's all coming together now."

GIL DE FERRAN: "It was a good day. I had a really good car in the morning, and I was very happy with everything we were doing. Unfortunately, I was not as happy in qualifying. I wasn't happy with the car on the first set of tires, and I had the same problem with the second set, and then the red flag came out and I still hadn't put in a lap that I felt was representative of the car. Luckily, we were able to get that one lap to get us up here. That was the only lap I had to do. That was tough because I was nowhere and the pressure was on. It was tense."

MAURICIO GUGELMIN: "I had a pretty trouble-free day, and I was happy with the car this morning. Always this place is very difficult because the conditions are always improving. I got a pretty good lap in before, but the computer was saying that I was doing pretty good on the last lap. Unfortunately, I ran out of fuel on the last chicane. It's still good, I think my best qualifying this season before this was seventh at Motegi, and I'm happy for Roberto because it's his first pole."

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Coyne
Teams Team Penske , Dale Coyne Racing