MONTEREY, CA . . . A promising morning session of the morning session turned to frustration during qualifying for Team Rahal. Max Papis in the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola suffered an engine failure and was able to post just the 24th fastest...
MONTEREY, CA . . . A promising morning session of the morning session turned to frustration during qualifying for Team Rahal. Max Papis in the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola suffered an engine failure and was able to post just the 24th fastest time in his back-up car with a lap of 113.481 mph. The setback in qualifying continued a frustrating weekend for Papis who finished on third at Laguna Seca in 1999.
Shell driver Kenny Brack made significant progress in the morning practice session but saw mechanical problems derail his qualifying efforts in the afternoon. Brack, second in the CART points battle to Gil de Ferran will start 14th after posting a fast lap of 115.059 mph. Brack finished fifth at Laguna Seca in 2000, one of his series high nine top-five results last season.
Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran captured the pole position adding a point to his lead over Brack in the CART title chase. Brack now trails de Ferran by 11 points with a maximum of 65 points remaining to be earned.
Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "I don't have the words to use. We had a mechanical problem with the primary car and the car felt good in the beginning. We had improved the chassis for qualifying. But I pulled into fourth gear and it take didn't off. It might have been the engine. I'm not sure. We got a few laps in the backup car but it wasn't in the qualifying trim we wanted. Now we'll have to pull out a different strategy for the race. I'm pretty embarrassed to tell you the truth."
Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "Obviously we just aren't as faster we would like. I was trying hard out there today as you could see on a couple of laps as I was pretty sideways. I thought the car was improved today with a little more under steer rather than the over steer we had on Friday. We can't worry about the Penske cars or anybody else but our Shell team. We've been struggling on this type of circuit this year. We won the pole at Road America but Mid-Ohio was similar to this (performance). I felt we had solved our difficulties on the road but the car wasn't as balanced as we wanted. Now we have look at all of our options for Sunday's race. Fuel is always a factor here at Laguna Seca."