Luis Diaz second fastest in provisional qualifying at Cleveland Kyle Krisiloff 11th after first day CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 3, 2003) - - It was a typical summer day in Cleveland - hot, oppressively muggy, and perfect for Luis Diaz to re-establish...
Luis Diaz second fastest in provisional qualifying at Cleveland
Kyle Krisiloff 11th after first day
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 3, 2003) - - It was a typical summer day in Cleveland - hot, oppressively muggy, and perfect for Luis Diaz to re-establish his presence in the Toyota Atlantic Championship as a force to reckon.
Despite an inconclusive morning practice, Diaz propelled the Dorricott Racing-prepared Telmex Swift 014a. to the outside pole in provisional qualifying at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, Thursday, July 3. Diaz's time of 1:06.400 (114.181 mph) around the 2.106-mile, 10-turn temporary airport runway road circuit was only 0.643-second behind provisional polesitter A.J. Allmendinger's 1:05.757 (115.297 mph).
It was the best qualifying performance for Diaz since he took the pole position for the season-opening Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix in his native Mexico. Diaz currently stands ninth in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, but only trails Allmendinger by 42 points with seven races remaining.
"The car was a little bit loose, but on that fast lap with the new tires the car felt very neutral," said Diaz. "I tried to go as fast as I possibly could on that lap. Thank God it was a good lap. After all the problems in practice it was great for me and the team to move to second fastest when it really counted. We still have room to improve the car quite a bit, but we are going in the right direction. (The track) was in good shape although very bumpy as usual. In fact, it seems more bumpy than last year. That should make for an interesting race because on this track you can make a lot of mistakes."
If Diaz's time holds position through Friday's final qualifying, it will be two positions better than last year's grid start. The Mexico City resident qualified fourth place in 2002 and finished third place in the race.
It was a tougher day for Kyle Krisiloff. However, despite qualifying 11th in the first round at 1:07.996 (111.501 mph), real progress was made in a variety of areas. Krisiloff expects to show better results in Friday's afternoon practice and early evening final qualifying.
Friday's schedule at Burke Lakefront Airport calls for the Toyota Atlantic machines to get another 30-minute practice session beginning at 1:15 p.m. ET, and will be followed by a final, 40-minute qualifying session beginning at 4:45 p.m.