TRACY TO START 3rd AND FRANCHITTI 8th RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (April 29, 2000) -- Top-10 qualifying efforts for Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti today will add to the excitement of tomorrow's Rio 200, beginning at 12:30...
TRACY TO START 3rd AND FRANCHITTI 8th
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (April 29, 2000) -- Top-10 qualifying efforts for Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti today will add to the excitement of tomorrow's Rio 200, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. (Live coverage on ESPN)
Tracy will start third after a qualifying run of 38.843 seconds, averaging 172.757 mph around the 1.864-mile, D-shaped oval at Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway. It was the best qualifying effort for both TKG drivers so far this season, as Franchitti will start eighth on the grid with a time of 39.026 seconds (171.947 mph).
Rookie Alex Tagliani earned his first Champ Car pole position after only two starts to his credit. Tagliani edged out Juan Montoya by 0.109 seconds, clocking a lap of 38.587 seconds (173.903 mph). Montoya's time was 38.696 seconds (173.413 mph), 0.147 seconds better than Tracy. Kenny Brack will start beside Tracy in row two, while Franchitti will share row four with Helio Castro-Neves.
The 25-car field will be back on track for Sunday morning warm-up at 8:30 a.m. ET.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(3rd with a lap-time of 38.843 seconds / 172.757 mph)
"The car has been really good all weekend. It was a good qualifying run, but I messed up my second lap when I thought I would have been quicker. I got a little loose in turn one when I got on the throttle a little early and the car stepped out on me. I think we have a great race car though and without a doubt it's much better to be starting up front (Tracy qualified 17th in his first two starts). Team KOOL Green got the job done today and we'll go hard again tomorrow. That Montoya guy is pretty tough and Tagliani has been doing really well this year. But between the fuel mileage of the Honda and the great engineers and pit crew we have, I think we can cover them on race day.
"I'm pretty enthused heading into the race. There's a big draft with the wings that we're using here. The corner speeds are a little slower, but the draft is much better. So, I think that it will make for better passing."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(8th with a lap-time of 39.026 seconds / 171.947 mph)
"We didn't change anything, but the car felt better and it was a pretty good qualifying effort. I had a bit of oversteer on the first lap. On the second lap, I took turn one well but I made a mess of it in turn four. I braked too early and tried to carry too much speed into the corner to make up some time, which hurt the exit a little bit. Good job by Team KOOL Green, we're getting there.
"I'm just getting more and more out of the car each time I drive it. I lacked seat time at the start of the year and now I'm getting back into my old rhythm. It has taken a little bit of time. It feels good to qualify better. We haven't done that much testing and we're getting our mileage in at the races for the moment. Paul has done a very good job and now it's just a matter of getting me back up to the level where I was last year."