CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Vancouver final qualifying

(Vancouver, Canada) -- PacWest Racing's Mauricio Gugelmin was the fastest of the Mercedes-Benz runners in qualifying for tomorrow's Molson Indy in Vancouver Canada. Gugelmin, driver of the ...

(Vancouver, Canada) -- PacWest Racing's Mauricio Gugelmin was the fastest of the Mercedes-Benz runners in qualifying for tomorrow's Molson Indy in Vancouver Canada.

Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, improved on his provisional time from yesterday by 0.158 of a second, but he actually dropped three places on the time sheet from 10th to 13th.

The Brazilian, who had his first CART win at Vancouver in 1997, was looking at a possible top-10 starting position when the session was red-flagged mid-way through his best flying lap.

Mark Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, lost some time with a mechanical problem early in the session and struggled to find a set-up to give himself enough grip for a quick lap on the temporary road course. Blundell's time of 1:02.775 from yesterday's qualifying session was good enough to get him into 20th place on the grid.

Dario Franchitti continued is form from yesterday and will start from pole alongside is Team KOOL Green teammate Paul Tracy. Marlboro Team Penske teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves will start from row two.

MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 13th
Qualifying: 1:01.786

"My car was sliding a bit and I was having a problem with grip all day long," said Gugelmin.

"I was in the middle of my fastest flying lap when the red flag flew with about five or six minutes remaining in the session. That red really came at a bad time because I had just gotten my tires up to temperature. We don't have good cold temperature balance, so when the green flew again I only had enough time for two timed laps.

"We went quick on the last lap, but my tires still we not at prime temperature."

MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 20th
Qualifying: 1:02.775

"We had a couple of engine issues at the start of the session which cost us a little time," said Blundell.

"Honestly, we have not got a handle on our chassis at all. We are lacking grip in all areas and I we will be making some major changes, hoping to find something positive in tomorrow's warm-up."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell