CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Team PFR Friday qualifying report

Tracy is fourth on the provisional pole, Carpentier ninth and Junqueira has the pole SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA, October 24, 2003 - Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy completed their first qualifying session Friday...

Tracy is fourth on the provisional pole, Carpentier ninth and Junqueira has the pole

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA, October 24, 2003 - Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy completed their first qualifying session Friday afternoon for the Lexmark Indy 300, round 18 of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series to be held Sunday in Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Tracy sits fourth on the provisional grid. The Canadian posted his best lap time of 1 minute 34.161 seconds around the 4.498-kilometre (2.795-mile) temporary road course on his last lap, averaging 171.973 km/h.

"The car just wasn't there today,'' said Tracy. ''We're losing all our time in the chicanes. There's a lot of work to be done overnight to find the right balance and set up but I know my guys are on it. It's disappointing because all year we've been very close in times to Bruno and Sebastien and today we are a second off. We tried a change and I tried to make up the time but the car just wasn't good enough."

His teammate Carpentier also had trouble with his car finishing tenth overall. He posted his fastest lap time of 1 minute 34.808 seconds (170.800 km/h) in the first half of the session.

"The car was not very fast,'' said Carpentier. ''On the first set of tires, it was average. The team made some changes to the suspension and the car became too stiff. That made it worse. The car was sliding all over the place. I lost all the grip I had before. It's going to be a long night because we need a better car to qualify up front. Both Paul and I seem to be having the same trouble so our engineers are going to work together to make some major improvements. "

Bruno Junqueira, the fastest of the 19 drivers entered in the Australian round, sits on the provisional pole as he posted a lap time of 1 minute 32.708 seconds (174.669 km/h). With three minutes to go, the Brazilian driver twice improved his time to edge Canadian Alex Tagliani. However, Tagliani's car failed the post-session technical inspection after being found below the minimum weight requirements and his time (1:33.265) was disallowed. Rookie Sebastien Bourdais (1:33.321) inherited Tagliani's second place, followed by Adrian Fernandez (1:33.668) and Tracy.

Drivers will return on track Saturday at 10:00 a.m. local time (8:00 p.m. Eastern Time Friday) for the third practice session.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais