CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Vancouver Friday notes

(Vancouver, Canada) -- PacWest Racing's Mauricio Gugelmin has qualified 10th on the provisional grid for Sunday's Molson Indy of Vancouver despite a qualifying mishap which damaged the left-hand front corner of his car. Gugelmin, driver of the...

(Vancouver, Canada) -- PacWest Racing's Mauricio Gugelmin has qualified 10th on the provisional grid for Sunday's Molson Indy of Vancouver despite a qualifying mishap which damaged the left-hand front corner of his car.

Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, clocked a time of 1:01.944 around the 1.802-mile temporary street course to put himself 10th on the grid. The Brazilian got in seven laps before he locked his brakes at turn one and hit a tire barrier -- bringing out a red flag.

Mark Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, is 17th on the provisional grid despite missing eight minutes of track time in qualifying after a confusing call by race officials.

Cristiano da Matta spun his car at turn 10 and the track was placed under red flag conditions. Blundell came around the turn and found da Matta rolling back across the race line so he could give himself space to get going again.

Blundell locked up is brakes offline and stalled his engine in an effort to avoid da Matta and was later pushed to a re-start by safety officials. -- Blundell was forced to stay in the pits for eight minutes by CART officials.

MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 10th Qualifying: 1:01.944

"My balance was basically the same as it was this morning, which is very loose under braking," said Gugelmin. "I managed a reasonable time, but then locked my front brakes going into turn one, hit the curb and launched myself into the tire barrier.

"It was disappointing because I believe there is a lot more time left in the car."

MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 17th Qualifying: 1:02.775

"We did the best we could under the circumstances," said Blundell. "We were getting up to speed when (Cristiano) da Matta spun and brought out a red flag.

"I came around the turn to find him rolling back across my line and I braked off line and stalled the engine trying to avoid him. I did not cause the red flag and don't believe I should have been penalized. Eight minutes of track time is a lot in a 30-minute session. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow and I can have a crack at getting a decent qualifying position."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , Cristiano da Matta