Tracy on front row in provisional qualifying at Surfers Paradise. SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, Australia - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy was near the top of the charts for most of the day today in Surfers Paradise, and took the second spot...
Tracy on front row in provisional qualifying at Surfers Paradise.
SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, Australia - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy was near the top of the charts for most of the day today in Surfers Paradise, and took the second spot in provisional qualifying, just six hundredths of a second off the pole. Tracy experienced electronic problems in the morning practice session, but bounced back to fourth. During qualifying he set fastest lap - and a new track record - early on and seemed poised for the pole, but was nipped with less than four minutes to go by Bruno Junqueira. TKG teammate Dario Franchitti had a frustrating day, experiencing clutch problems with his primary car and then tagging the wall in his back up car during qualifying.
Junqueira's pole lap of 1:31.515 / 109.949 mph eclipsed the former track record by .188, a record held by Franchitti since 1999 (1:31.703 / 109.724 mph). Tracy's best circuit was 1:31.575 / 109.877 mph, with Scott Dixon completing the top three at 1:32.143 / 109.200 mph. Franchitti finished the day in 17th (1:35.278 / 105.607 mph) and TKG technical partner Michael Andretti was 9th (1:32.574 / 108.691 mph).
Saturday's Champ Car activities on the 2.795-mile oceanside street course begin with a morning practice session from 9:45 - 11:00 a.m. followed by final qualifying from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (all times local). Final qualifying will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel beginning at 11:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 (EDT).
Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I think we were a little too conservative. With the amount of time and laps left available to everyone, we didn't think they'd be able to catch us with the lead we had. But Bruno (Junqueira) snagged a good one at the last minute. I was just circulating in the KOOL car to see what happened and I just didn't have enough time to respond. I think we've got something left in the car so we'll just go out and attack tomorrow. I'm going to trim my hair up a little more tonight, so that should be good for a couple of tenths."
Speed: 107.715 mph
Speed: 109.877 mph
John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant
"We had a bit of a drama this morning early on with electronics but we got that fixed and came back in fourth. Paul was happy with the car and was right up at the top during qualifying until the last bloody minute and we're just six hundredths short of the pole. But we've got the goods for tomorrow."
Dario Franchitti -- #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I didn't get many laps in this morning but our primary car was handling pretty well and Team KOOL Green was looking good. It's too bad we had clutch problems. Unfortunately the backup car was nothing like the primary car and handled completely different. I tried to run the same lines and push the car the same way but it didn't work and you see the result. I think today was probably the best shot. There's talk about working on the chicanes and if they do, that should slow everybody down tomorrow."
Speed: 105.607 mph
Allen McDonald - Chief Engineer
"We have a really confusing clutch problem with our primary car that we thought we fixed this morning but we obviously haven't because we had the same problem this afternoon. We switched to the backup car and unfortunately that ended sadly as well. But Paul's right up there so the cars obviously have the potential to be up front.