CLEVELAND, OH., (July 1, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy will start from the fourth and ninth rows respectively for tomorrow's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Franchitti, who earned the provisional pole ...
CLEVELAND, OH., (July 1, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy will start from the fourth and ninth rows respectively for tomorrow's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Franchitti, who earned the provisional pole yesterday, qualified eighth and Tracy dropped from ninth on the provisional grid to 17th for the start of the race.
Roberto Moreno, the series leader, collected another point for winning his first career Champ Car pole position to count 69 to date. Moreno powered around the 2.106-mile temporary circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport in 57.436 seconds, averaging 132.001mph. Two points ahead of Gil de Ferran in the standings, Moreno was also 0.088 seconds quicker than his Brazilian countryman atop the timesheets. De Ferran's best lap was his last, posting a time of 57.524 seconds (131.799 mph). Brazilians swept the top three positions, as Mauricio Gugelmin turned a lap of 57.538 seconds (131.767 mph).
Qualifying was an adventure for Tracy, who was forced into his spare car when he suffered an engine failure after only five laps in his primary car. Stuck on the other side of the track, Tracy caught a ride with a safety vehicle and then a golf cart to make it back to the pit. A lot of valuable time was lost before he was strapped into the spare and the decision was made to go back out for a better time. Both TKG drivers were hampered further by an untimely red flag with about three minutes remaining. Moreno had spun and stalled his car on track in Turn 6. When the track was cleared there was only enough time for one flying lap, but Tracy and Franchitti could not improve their times. Franchitti's quick lap was 57.677 seconds (130.889 mph), while Tracy clocked a time of 58.534 seconds (123.917 mph).
The 25-car field returns to the track for morning warm-up at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, while the green flag for the 100-lap race will fall at 1 p.m. ABC-TV will broadcast the race live.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(17th with a lap-time of 58.534 seconds / 123.917 mph)
"It was an easy decision to take a run at a better time with the spare car. Starting 20th or starting 17th it doesn't really matter. Moving up into today's fast group was all for nothing after that session. It's the way it goes I guess. Qualifying always matters no matter where you are. You've got to be in the fast group and today we couldn't keep in it because we had an engine failure. The spare KOOL car was set-up totally different. It's got a different differential and different brake discs and pads. I had never even driven the thing before. I just couldn't get it up to speed. It's unfortunate that we're not starting up front, but the positive thing is there are a lot of opportunities to pass on these wide runways."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(8th with a lap-time of 57.677 seconds / 130.889 mph)
"The car is just not working over the bumps. For that one lap, when you have to carry that little bit more speed through the corners, it's not able to. I think I got the limit out of the KOOL car on the first set of tires. Then we made a couple of adjustments and I pushed to try to go quicker, but it was worse over the bumps. The harder I would try to go quicker, the slower I would go. We had a couple of problems, but it's just disappointing. We need to try to get the car working better. I'm sure we could have done better, but we got screwed up by [Roberto] Moreno's spin. We were right in the middle of our fastest lap all weekend, but that spin resulted in an untimely red flag. At the end of the day, we didn't do it."