CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green Friday qualifying report

FRANCHITTI EARNS PROVISIONAL POLE WITH A RECORD LAP IN PORTLAND PORTLAND, Ore., (June 19, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti earned the provisional pole with a record-setting lap around the 1.967-mile road course at Portland...

FRANCHITTI EARNS PROVISIONAL POLE WITH A RECORD LAP IN PORTLAND

PORTLAND, Ore., (June 19, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti earned the provisional pole with a record-setting lap around the 1.967-mile road course at Portland International Raceway, averaging 119.657 mph to complete the circuit in 58.821 seconds . He broke Scott Pruett's track record of 59.383 seconds at 119.246 mph set last year in winning the pole.

Franchitti's time is more than 3/10ths of a second better than the next quickest car belonging to Bryan Herta, who turned a lap of 59.179 seconds at 119.657 mph. Pruett is third, just 1/100th of a second slower than Herta, with a time of 59.180 seconds a t 119.656 mph.

Paul Tracy, meanwhile, will not be allowed to qualify tomorrow after being involved in an incident with Michel Jourdain Jr. Tracy, who was placed on probation for an incident at the Detroit Grand Prix, was also fined $20,000 by CART for today's contact w ith Jourdain. He stands 12th on the provisional grid with a qualifying time of 59.630 seconds at 118.752 mph.

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (1st with a lap-time of 58.821 seconds at 120.386 mph)

"It was a nice lap. I was surprised when I saw the time, but I was pushing hard. The tires were good at the time so I had to go for it when the tires were at their best. Don (Halliday) and the rest of the Team KOOL Green guys did a superb job between s essions to get the car where we wanted it. Everything is good enough so far, but I know I'll have to go faster tomorrow."

In qualifying for the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Team KOOL Green's Naoki Hattori was sixth-fastest with a lap of 1:07.632 seconds at 104.702 mph. His qualifying effort was hindered by an oil leak in his car's gearbox, which cost him track time a s he sat on pit lane while the crew fixed the problem.

Cristiano da Matta's time of 1:06.999 seconds (105.691 mph) was the fastest of the day and earned him the provisional pole entering tormorrow's final qualifying session at 11:15 a.m. PDT. Luis Garcia Jr. was second quick with a lap-time of 1:07.206 seco nds at 105.367 mph. Didier Andre, Felipe Giaffone, and Guy Smith hold the next three fastest times in front of Hattori.

NAOKI HATTORI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN: (6th with a lap-time of 1:07.632 seconds at 104.702 mph)

"The car is not so bad, but it is understeering a little too much. It is especially bad in the last turn which hurts your top speed down the long straight. We also lost some valuable time when we had to come in to the pits to fix a gearbox oil leak. Tomorrow should be better. We should be able to move up the grid in final qualifying."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Guy Smith , Felipe Giaffone , Didier André , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Luis Garcia , Bryan Herta , Naoki Hattori , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain