FRANCHITTI TO START FROM THE FRONT ROW & TRACY WILL START 12TH ON THE GRID RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (May 14, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will make his 12th career start from the front row, as he qualified second for tomorrow's...
FRANCHITTI TO START FROM THE FRONT ROW & TRACY WILL START 12TH ON THE GRID
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (May 14, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will make his 12th career start from the front row, as he qualified second for tomorrow's 108-lap (201.312 miles) GP Telemar Rio 200. Paul Tracy, meanwhile, lost valuable track time on the 1.86-mile oval at Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway because of an accident in practice and qualified 12th in his spare car.
Franchitti's time of 38.574 seconds (173.962 mph) was just 9/1000th of a second behind the pole-winning time and new track record set by Christian Fittipaldi (38.565 seconds / 174.002 mph). Juan Montoya, the winner of the past two races (Long Beach & Nazareth), is third on the grid (38.651 seconds / 173.615 mph). He will share the second row with Gil de Ferran, who qualified fourth.
Tracy was running strong in practice when he hit the wall, trying to avoid a spinning car. The incident caused sufficient damage to Tracy's car to force him into Team KOOL Green's spare #26 car. In qualifying, he turned the 12th best lap in 39.310 seconds (170.705 mph).
Tomorrow's race is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In the U.S., the race will be broadcast via tape-delay on ABC-TV on Sunday, May 16th at 4:00 p.m. ET. In Canada, the broadcast will be carried live on TSN.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (12th with a lap-time of 39.310 seconds / 170.706 mph) "Team KOOL Green did a great job to get the spare car ready for qualifying in the short amount of time we had following the accident with the primary car in this morning's practice. I think we did the best we could, considering we never ran the car and never ran the motor. I just jumped in and went. The balance of the car was pretty good, but it was bouncing up and down all the way down the straightaway. We've got a little work to do on the car and we'll try some things in tomorrow morning's warm-up. Hopefully, we'll have a good car for the distance of the race."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (2nd with a lap-time of 38.574 seconds / 173.962 mph) "Emerson Fittipaldi (the track promoter) should thank Team KOOL Green for allowing Christian (Fittipaldi) to get the pole by 1000th of a second. That certainly should help ticket sales. Oh well, I guess it wasn't a bad lap for me. The car was just about perfect, other than too much push in Turn 4. I think I might have locked a wheel going into Turn 1, as well. But that actually gained me time, as opposed to losing any. I feel good for the race, though. The car was fast all day. I think we have a better balance for the race than for qualifying. With everything we do, we're working towards the race. The Firestone tires are looking good and we were getting excellent power and fuel mileage from the Honda all day."