NA-F2000: Rodarte wins pole at IRP

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (May 26, 2001) --In a break from scattered rain showers, Peter Gray, of Aberdeen, Scotland captured the pole for Saturday's Round Six of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (May 26, 2001) --In a break from scattered rain showers, Peter Gray, of Aberdeen, Scotland captured the pole for Saturday's Round Six of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Completing the top-three is Piero Rodarte, of Mexico City, Mexico and Tommy Constantine, of Greece.

Racing on his first short oval, Gray has been quick right from the start of the weekend. On the final fifteen-minute practice session Gray, driving No. 2 Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, posted the second quickest time. The time meant that Gray would be the next to last car to qualify during single-car qualifying on the 0.686-mile oval. Gray's first lap in qualifying set the quickest time of the session. On his second qualifying lap, Gray posted a time of 0:21.356 (115.639 mph) to capture the provisional pole. Once Rodarte was unable to post a better time, Gray secured his first career pole in only his sixth race.

"I just went for it," said Gray. "After the first session on the track I was surprised about how fast I went. The car has felt great. Two laps was fun, but I don't know about 75 laps. We'll see after the race."

Driving, No. 55 Telmex/Sico Van Diemen Ford, Rodarte looked to be in contention for the pole after the opening practice sessions. In both sessions Rodarte posted the quickest times. During qualifying Rodarte battled a slight push and was unable to better his practice times, posting a quick time of 0:21.370 (115.564 mph). The time was good enough to capture his first-row start in 2001 and second front-row start IRP in his career.

"The car wasn't good," said Rodarte. "I knew I wouldn't get the pole, but was confident I would be on the front-row. It's a little disappointing since we've been quickest in every session. This track seems to suit my driving style."

Constantine, driving the No. 12 Ouzo12/Cape Motorsports/TCR Van Diemen Ford, drove a strong qualifying run to capture a career-best third place on the starting grid. As the 16th car on track in single-car qualifying, Constantine posted a quick time of 0:21.373 (115.548 mph). The time gave Constantine the pole until his teammate Gray bettered the time late in qualifying.

"Things just clicked today," said Constantine. "We've had some tough luck early in the season. I kept telling the sponsors that things would come around. The goal is to run a clean race and be there at the finish."

Completing the top-five is Mike Potekhen, of Phoenix, Ariz. and Arie Luyendyk Jr., of Den Bosch, Holland.

-US-FF2000

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