April 3, 1998

Didier Andre Quickest In First Round Qualifying At Long Beach Didier Andre was only 11th fastest in this morning's first practice session but he and the PacWest Racing Group team made a big jump in qualifying. He set the quick time early in the session but had to out duel two drivers in the final minute of competition to earn his first provisional pole. Austrian Philipp Peter (Sebring/Red Bull/Estebe Lola) was quickest with under a minute remaining but dropped clear to fourth at the checker as Andre and others stage a late charge. "This is a good start," Andre said. "I love this track. This is one of my favorite tracks in America, with Laguna Seca and Portland. We tested this week at Firebird in Phoenix and were very happy. But the track was quite dirty this morning and the car had a lot of push. The PacWest team did a very good job for qualifying." Cristiano da Matta (Medley/LCI Lola), the 1997 Long Beach runner up and second-place finisher at this year's opening race at Miami, was second quickest Friday at an average speed of 98.804 mph (57.350 seconds). Sergio Paese (SBT/Transamerica/SEGA Lola), who won the Sea-Doo/Ski-Doo Pole at Miami, was third fastest at an average speed of 98.652 mph (57.438 seconds). A total of 25 drivers posted times. Paese was fastest in this morning's first round practice at an average speed of 98.883 mph (57.304 seconds). The Long Beach PPG-Dayton Indy Lights race can be seen on ESPN2 in same day coverage this Sunday, April 5, from 7 - 8 p.m. EDT (4 - 5 p.m. PDT).

Source: CART Online