Robby Gordon ...
Robby Gordon #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-Reynard
Practice/Qualifying Notes/Quotes - Friday, April 16, 1999 TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH Round 3 of 20 on the CART FedEx Championship Series At Long Beach, Calif.
During an opening qualifying session cut short by a pair of on-track incidents, Robby Gordon and the #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-Reynard recorded the 16th-fastest lap of the day in preparation for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Gordon toured the 11-turn, 1.85-mile temporary street circuit in 1 minute, 2.977 seconds, an average speed of 104.267 mph. Dario Franchitti had the fast time of the day at 1:01.805 (106.244 mph). Gordon's 30-minute qualifying session was halted twice after first Mauricio Gugelmin and then Richie Hearn tagged the inside wall in the newly configured Turn 2. The final grid for Sunday's main event will be set when qualifying resumes Saturday afternoon. Race time is 4:00 p.m. Sunday. It will be broadcast live by ABC.
(EDITOR'S NOTE -- Gordon's time was subsequently disallowed because a post-session technical inspection by CART revealed the #22 Toyota-Reynard did not meet the minimum 2-inch ride height requirement. Gordon will have to officially establish a qualifying time during Saturday's session.)
ROBBY GORDON - "It's unfortunate that with a time-certain session those two incidents really didn't allow us to get many clean laps. We got nine laps total, and four of those were used to try and heat two different sets of tires. That leaves five laps, and with traffic, it was tough to get even one clean lap. But we're not as far off as it might seem. Another four-tenths of a second and we would be fifth on the grid right now. That's how competitive it is in this series. Now we'll go back, try to split some hairs on our setup, and hopefully come out faster tomorrow. This is an important race for us, so we want to do well here. The new section of the track has a few problems right now, but once they get those straightened out, it'll be great. There's a piece of the wall at Turn 2 that sticks out in an awkward way, and, coincidentally, that's where Richie and Gugelmin and (Scott) Pruett all tagged it."
MIKE HELD (Co-Owner) - "We said coming in here that if we could qualify in the top 15 and finish in the top 10 that we'd be happy campers … come away from here with some points. As it is, we're not far off from that modest set of goals so far. It's a tight field. Second to 16th spot on the grid is separated by eight-tenths of a second. That's something."
KENNY ANDERSON (Race Engineer) - "From an engineering standpoint, you'd sure like more than a few laps to get a feel for the car. But everyone's in the same boat. We've got some things to build on. It's just a matter of being able to get out there and stretch our legs a bit."