CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest drivers will need patience at Portland on sunday

(Portland, Or) -- PacWest drivers Mark Blundell and Mauricio Gugelmin will both need to be patient if they are to score major FedEx Championship Series points in tomorrow's Freightliner-G.I. Joe's 200 at the Portland International Raceway in ...

(Portland, Or) -- PacWest drivers Mark Blundell and Mauricio Gugelmin will both need to be patient if they are to score major FedEx Championship Series points in tomorrow's Freightliner-G.I. Joe's 200 at the Portland International Raceway in Oregon.

Gugelmin finished the qualifying session in 14th position in his Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz with a time of 59.214 seconds, but will start tomorrow's race from the rear of the grid after his car failed a technical inspection. The left rear section of the underwing on Gugelmin's car was found to be an illegal height by just fractions of an inch. Gugelmin showed great improvement in the morning practice session with a time of 59.00 seconds, but some negative changes to the car and some changing track conditions saw him slip to a time of 59.214s in qualifying -- despite this he was the quickest Mercedes-Benz runner.

Blundell clocked the 17th fastest time of 59.382 seconds in his #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz and believes he has a strong race package for the 112-lap contest -- he will now start 16th with the relegation of Gugelmin to the rear of the grid.

MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 16th
Qualifying: 59.382s

"I am a lot happier with the car today than I was yesterday," said Blundell.

"We found a few things overnight and learned a few things as the day progressed.

"I think we have the potential for a very good race car. They say it is going to be hotter tomorrow which is going to make it a tough day. It will not only be physically demanding, but we will have to keep an eye on things, especially the rear tires. Patience will be very important if we are to finish with some major championship points tomorrow."

MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- NO TIME
Qualifying: 59.214s

"We made one change to the car after the morning session and the car was actually worse," said Gugelmin.

"I came in and reversed the change for my second run and was just starting to get a feel for the car before (Alex) Tagliani blew and engine and brought out a red flag. The circuit was worse after that, but me car was better. We are yet to have a trouble-free session -- we had clutch problems in the morning. It is obviously disappointing to now be starting from the rear of the grid, but we will just have to grit out teeth and get on with the job."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell