Jourdain Is Impressive In Team Rahal Debut Gigante Car Sixth On Provisional Grid- Vasser Is Tenth MONTERREY, MEXICO . . . Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. held the provisional pole for nearly 39 minutes during qualifying only to see his fast...
Jourdain Is Impressive In Team Rahal Debut
Gigante Car Sixth On Provisional Grid- Vasser Is Tenth
MONTERREY, MEXICO . . . Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. held the provisional pole for nearly 39 minutes during qualifying only to see his fast lap of 95.484 mph fall to sixth fastest in the last minute of the hour long session. Shell driver Jimmy Vasser finished tenth on the provisional grid with a fast lap of 94.879 mph.
The qualifying session was the first held under the new CART rules which expanded the road course qualifying to a sixty minute session and limited the drivers to 15 timed laps. Neither Team Rahal driver took to the track at the beginning of the session in an attempt to let the track build grip. Jourdain took the Gigante car on track 17 minutes into the session and quickly took the top spot which he held until five drivers topped his time, all in the last minute of qualifying.
Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Monterrey will resume Saturday afternoon.
Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - " The track was very slick today, just like last year, but the car seemed pretty good towards the end of the qualifying session. We got messed up on both red flags during qualifying. The timing was just bad for us. It hurt us with the number of laps we wanted to run. I had a pretty good lap going at the end but I ran out of time. That lap was at least a half second quicker. I would have been right with Michel [Jourdain, Vasser's teammate]. I wasn't as aggressive over the ripple strips as many of the guys. I thought it would hurt the underside of the car, but it seemed to work for them. I'm not too worried right now. I think our car is pretty good and I know we'll be better on Saturday. This team is very good and they have given me a fast car."
Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "I am very happy with the way things went today. We played a different strategy because we thought there was going to be a red flag at the end. So we ran all of our laps earlier. Even though we didn't finish on top overall it was a great day for Gigante and Office Depot. It is their first day on a racecar and we nearly put it on the pole. I'm looking forward to Saturday because I think we can go faster and try for the pole. We had a new qualifying system today and I liked it since we did well, but I think everyone is getting used to the system right. The track was just getting better and better so we didn't get a chance on the last few minutes. I am impressed with how quickly the Gigante team has come together. It hasn't even been under a month since I tested with Team Rahal for the first time. So things have really come together well."