LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA - Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy qualified sixth and 12th respectively for tomorrow's Long Beach Grand Prix. A light rain was falling as the TKG duo took to the track at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) for their...
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA - Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy qualified sixth and 12th respectively for tomorrow's Long Beach Grand Prix.
A light rain was falling as the TKG duo took to the track at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) for their qualifying session. And though the rain stopped about halfway through the 30-minute session, the track was drying with each lap and thus lap times continued to fall with most drivers setting their fastest time on their last lap.
Franchitti clocked his fast time - 1:09.223 (102.136 mph) - on his 19th and final lap. Tracy's fast lap came on the 12th of his 14 laps, when he turned a 1:10.073 (101.106 mph) around the 1.968-mile street course.
Helio Castroneves earned the pole for tomorrow's 82-lap race, with a lap time of 1:08.566, an average speed of 103.343 mph.
The Champ Cars take to the track tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. for a 30-minute pre-race warm up sessions. The 27th annual Long Beach Grand Prix is set to take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. (All times are Pacific Daylight Time.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(6th with a lap time of 1:09.366 / 102.136 mph)
"At the start of the session the track was wet in the last three corners and dry everywhere else. So the rain tires were just chunking - the rubber was coming off of them after just a couple of laps. I'd wanted to go to slicks right away, but the Team KOOL Green crew was a little more circumspect. Once we went to slicks, I had to be very careful but the track was really starting to dry and we were going faster with each lap. Unfortunately, I locked up the brakes on my last lap and went wide and that was it."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(12th with a lap time of 1:10.073 / 101.106 mph)
"We obviously would have liked to qualify higher than 12th, but it's better than last year when we started 17th. We got pretty lucky last year with our pit strategy and the way the yellows fell, but we can't count on that every time. Starting 12th, there are a lot of fast cars in front of us. We'll just have to stay out of trouble on the track and let the Team KOOL Green crew make up some spots in the pits."