Lynx Racing Long Beach Qualifying Report

- Preliminary Qualifying: Lynx Racing in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Support Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - April 17 - 18 Under clear skies and temperatures in the upper 80s, Lynx Racing began its 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic...

- Preliminary Qualifying: Lynx Racing in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Support Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - April 17 - 18

Under clear skies and temperatures in the upper 80s, Lynx Racing began its 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic campaign with a 5th-place effort for Buddy Rice in preliminary qualifying late Friday afternoon. He turned a 1:12.748-sec. lap around the newly-revised 1.824-mile Long Beach street circuit. The fastest time in preliminary qualifying went to Alexandre Tagliani of the Player's/Forsythe team with a 1:12.190, a new track record. With just an hour to go before the cars rolled on track for the qualifying session, a fault was discovered in the electronics of Rice's #19 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a, and the team immediately went into high gear to get his backup car ready to run. Since the team's backup is maintained in race-ready condition, it took just a few setup changes and moving the custom-made seat from one car to another to get Rice on the grid with time to spare. "The session itself was very frustrating in terms of traffic and the number of red flags that kept my from getting a clean, fast lap,: said Rice. "The new sequence of turns down at the end of the shoreline straight is largely the culprit, with very little grip and lots of slipping and sliding. Still, the car feels pretty good, and with the work the team has done overnight, I'm confident that we'll move up the grid in finally qualifying at noon on Saturday, and do well in the race." Mike Conte, for whom Lynx Racing also fields a car, turned a 1:14.891 in his #17 Lynx Racing/White-Black Design Swift 008.a to score a 17th starting spot on the preliminary grid. "We just never had enough running time to get the car dialed in, but the team did the best they could with the opportunity we had," said Conte. "They did quite a bit of data analysis on the car overnight, and made some setup changes that should help my move further toward the front in final qualifying. But the race is the thing, and if the carnage I've seen so far is any indication, simply staying out of trouble should be enough assure a good finish." Final qualifying is scheduled from 12:00 noon to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, with the race scheduled to take the green flag at 4:00 p.m. Saturday. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is the first event in the 12-race 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic schedule. The next event is the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota at Nazareth Speedway on May 1. Lynx Racing drivers have won this event the past four years in a row (Patrick Carpentier 1995 & 1996, Alex Barron 1997, Buddy Rice 1998). Lynx Racing, owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty and now entering its ninth year of operation, is both a championship-winning racing team and a unique driver development program. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the training, resources and opportunity to realize that potential and make the jump to auto racing's 'major leagues.' In addition to Buddy Rice and Mike Conte in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic series, Lynx also sponsors a car for the team's first female driver, Sara Senske, 20, of Kennewick, Washington. Senske competes in the Star Mazda Championship, driving a car fielded by Kent Stacy's S3 Racing, and she has qualified 6th for the second race of the Mazda series at Road Atlanta, which will also be run Saturday, April 17. She is also hoping to qualify for the inaugural race of the new Women's Global GT Series created by Don Panoz and Lyn St. James. Final elimination's take place on Sunday, and the race will be run Sunday, April 18.

Atlantic Television Schedule (ESPN2 - E.S.T.):

Saturday, April 24              4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.   First broadcast
Sunday, May 2           8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.   Repeat broadcast
Thursday, May 6         2:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.   Repeat broadcast

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron , Lyn St. James , Buddy Rice , Don Panoz