Toronto Friday qualifying

Toronto, ON -- July 14, 2000 - Rino Mastronardi (Condor Motorsports / Swift 008.a) captured the provisional pole for Sunday's Round 7 CART Toyota Atlantic race on the on the rainy streets of downtown Toronto. Friday's qualifying session, which...

Toronto, ON -- July 14, 2000 - Rino Mastronardi (Condor Motorsports / Swift 008.a) captured the provisional pole for Sunday's Round 7 CART Toyota Atlantic race on the on the rainy streets of downtown Toronto. Friday's qualifying session, which ran green for only 14 of the scheduled 30 minutes, was the first of two scheduled for this weekend's Molson Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place. Mastronardi recorded a 1:20.925 (78.072 miles per hour) on the 1.755 miles temporary street course.

"It was a fun session, but dangerous and very wet," said Mastronardi, who is participating in his first Atlantic race of the season. " I hadn't driven on the wet in a long time, so I was kind of rusty. Anyway, I did well. I'm on pole, so I'm happy, I'm back and that's it! I couldn't ask for more."

The provisional pole is an Atlantic first for Mastronardi, who participated in one Atlantic event in 1999. Mastronardi however is no stranger to starting on the front row. The young Italian scored five pole positions and five victories in 1997, while participating in Barber Dodge.

David Rutledge (Lynx Racing / Swift 008.a) of West Vancouver, British Columbia, was second quickest, posting a 1:22.163 (76.896 miles per hour).

"It was quite slippery on the concrete patches, and you have to adjust your line to do most of your turning before and after," says Rutledge. "There was a good amount of grip otherwise, and our car was particularly good under braking. It was a bit of a chance to run in the rain, but it proved our setup, and we'll be ready for a wet race. If it's dry, we have a good setup for that also, so we'll be ready for whatever happens."

Rookie Martin Basso (Michael Shank Racing / 3B Engine Valve / Swift 008.a) recorded the third fastest time, recording a 1:22.167 (76.892 miles per hour).

"The team worked really hard before the session to get ready for the wet track," says Basso. The car was very good before the first red flag and we were able to go pretty quick. When we went back out there was too much water on the track and the car was very nervous on the faster corners and the main straight. But we're third, so we're happy."

Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic activities begin with a 40-minute practice session at 8:00 am, followed by qualifying at 11:30 a.m. Sunday's 35-lap, race is scheduled to begin at noon.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Martin Basso , David Rutledge , Michael Shank , Rino Mastronardi
Teams Michael Shank Racing