PACWEST DRIVERS HAVE WORK TO DO IN QUALIFYING (Madison, Il) -- PacWest drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell will both dig into their "reserve" tanks tomorrow during qualifying for the Motorola 300 at the Gateway International Raceway in...
PACWEST DRIVERS HAVE WORK TO DO IN QUALIFYING
(Madison, Il) -- PacWest drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell will both dig into their "reserve" tanks tomorrow during qualifying for the Motorola 300 at the Gateway International Raceway in Illinois -- the 17th round of the FedEx Championship Series.
Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, improved from the morning to the afternoon practice session today and finished with a time of 26.400 seconds around the 1.27-mile oval to finish 12th overall.
Mark Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, struggled with the balance of his car all day and the best he could squeeze out of his machine was a 27.365-second lap, which placed him 24th.
Opening round winner Max Papis clocked the fastest time of the day with a 25.859-second lap in the morning session and was followed by Juan Montoya (25.869s), Helio Castroneves (25.695s) and Tony Kanaan (25.995s) -- leaving all four engine manufacturers sharing the top four places on the time sheet.
- # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 12th
"I was not happy with my car after the morning session, but we made a few positive changes before the afternoon," said Gugelmin.
"The handling of the car is not too bad, although I think there is plenty left in the car for qualifying tomorrow.
"The traffic is always a problem here, but it was not too bad for me because I was working on my race set-up with full tanks."
- # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 24th Qualifying: 27.365s
"We just could not get it right," said Blundell. "We were plagued by problems in both sessions and that limited our track time.
"Fortunately we have another session in the morning to work with the car before I put it on the line in the qualifying laps."
PRACTICE TIMES: 1: Max Papis 25.859; 2: Juan Montoya 25.869; 3: Helio Castroneves 25.965; 4: Tony Kanaan 25.995; 5: Kenny Brack 25.999; 6: Jimmy Vasser 26.027; 7: Alex Tagliani 26.046; 8: Gil de Ferran 26.123; 9: Dario Franchitti 26.310; 10: Cristiano da Matta 26.377.