FRANCHITTI THIRD AND TRACY FIFTH IN QUALIFYING HOUSTON, Tex., (Oct. 2, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti was 3rd and Paul Tracy 5th in provisional qualifying for the inaugural Texaco Grand Prix of Houston. Bobby Rahal holds the pole...
FRANCHITTI THIRD AND TRACY FIFTH IN QUALIFYING
HOUSTON, Tex., (Oct. 2, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti was 3rd and Paul Tracy 5th in provisional qualifying for the inaugural Texaco Grand Prix of Houston. Bobby Rahal holds the pole position heading into tomorrow's final qualifying, completing the 1.527-mile, 10-turn street circuit in 1:00.191 at an average speed of 91.329 mph.
Franchitti, who has started from the pole four times this year, was running his quickest lap when Alex Zanardi's spin brought out a red flag. He settled for a time of 1:00.572 (90.755 mph), while Greg Moore turned in the second-fastest time of 1:00.345 (91.096 mph). Max Papis was fourth quick with a lap of 1:00.609 (90.699 mph), just 3/100ths of a second faster than Tracy's lap of 1:00.639 (90.656 mph).
Tomorrow's split-session qualifying begins with the first group at 12:45 p.m. CT, but Franchitti and Tracy will take to the track at 1:30 p.m. with the quickest cars from provisional qualifying.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (3rd with a lap-time of 1:00.572 / 90.755 mph)
"I'm kind of disappointed. I was 2/10ths of a second up on Greg Moore's time when the red flag came out for Zanardi's wreck. It's unfortunate that caused us to lose our time, but I think tomorrow's times are going to be faster.
"The car was very good straight off the truck. The engineers did a marvelous job because we really didn't have to do anything to make the car work. We made a couple of subtle alterations, but they were pretty bang on with the setup."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (5th with a lap-time of 1:00.639 / 90.656 mph)
"That was a pretty good session, but we've got to keep it up. It's only going to get more competitive. The car is still not perfect, but the track conditions improved and we made some improvements to the car. But we've got to make the car even better tomorrow.
"The heat is going to be a major factor in the race. Right now, it doesn't really affect you because you're out there for just a few laps at a time and you're running on adrenaline. But a 100-lap race is a long time. It will be critical to keep your concentration and not make any mistakes."
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship - Provisional Qualifying
Anthony Lazzaro's time of 1:08.533 (78.292 mph) around the 1.527-mile temporary street circuit allowed him to win the provisional pole for Sunday's KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship race. Alex Tagliani was second fastest, recording a time of 1:08.881. Lazzaro's teammate, Masaoki Nagashima, was third with a time of 1:08.921.
KOOL-sponsored driver Matt Sielsky will look to improve from 10th in tomorrow's qualifying. Sielsky's best lap today was 1:09.951 (78.586 mph). His session was cut short when he made contact with a wall, trying to avoid a car that had spun out.
MATT SIELSKY, #16 LCI INTERNATIONAL SWIFT-TOYOTA: (10th with a lap-time of 1:09.951 / 78.586 mph)
"Somebody spun in front of me and collected Rocky Moran. It was either hit them or hit the wall; I chose the wall. It's a shame because the car was handling good and we were fairly competitive. But it was a pretty big hit and I don't know how severe the damage is to the car."