FRIDAY P.M. Notes from TROIS-RIVIERES MARK TAGUE, driver of the World Speed Motorsports-Altec/Liaison Software Ralt RT-41, made a guest appearance in Star Mazda competition in one of team owner CHUCK WESTâ€™s Mazdaâ€™s last weekend at...
FRIDAY P.M. Notes from TROIS-RIVIERES
MARK TAGUE, driver of the World Speed Motorsports-Altec/Liaison Software Ralt RT-41, made a guest appearance in Star Mazda competition in one of team owner CHUCK WEST’s Mazda’s last weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway. Tague finished second place in the race behind World Speed teammate Jim Hall II. Mike Conte completed a team sweep in third place. West’s 21-year-old rising star, Mikel Miller, finished fifth place after moving up from 46th.
3:20 p.m. - - Qualifying begins under humid, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 70s.
3:27 p.m. - - #71 DeSOTO loses control exiting turn three and spins across the track before resting against the opposite side wall; BLACK FLAG to stop the session; driver out and okay.
3:32 p.m. - - Session resumes
3:40 p.m. - - #41 THOMAS pulls off in turn three.
3:43 p.m. - - #66 TAGLIANI spins exiting turn three and stops off the track; car suffers right front wing damage; car continues after a brief delay and returns to pit lane for repairs; car resumes the session.
3:46 p.m. - - #50 WILDEN stops in turn seven with a broken second gear; car retires from the session in a safe location.
3:54 p.m. - - Session ends:
#66 ALEXANDRE TAGLIANI, of Lachenaie, Que., wins the PROVISIONAL POLE in the Player’s Forsythe Racing-Player’s/Indeck Ralt RT-40 with a time of 1:02.463 = 87.027 mph.
#33 BERTRAN GODIN, of St. Hyacinthe, Que., is second fastest at 1:02.468 = 87.020 mph in the Player’s Forsythe Racing Team-Player’s/Indeck Ralt RT-40.
#35 DAVID POOK, Long Beach, Calif., is third fastest at 1:02.480 = 87.003 mph in the B.D.J.S.-prepared HYPE ENERGY Drink/Budweiser Ralt RT-40.
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#66 ALEXANDRE TAGLIANI (Player’s Forsythe Racing Team-Player’s/Indeck) "I'm very happy with the results. Unfortunately, we had oil pressure problems near the end. I also did a complete spin halfway through the session, but I was lucky enough not to touch the wall. I pushed very hard at the end of the session because I know that the weather forecast is not promising for tomorrow, and it could be difficult, if this is the case, to better today's time." (Francois Cartier)
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#33 BERTRAND GODIN (Player's Forsythe Racing Team-Player’s/Indeck) "I found good vibrations during the qualifying session. It reminded me of my year in karting because of the handling of the car. With a difference of only five thousandths, we can do better and we can win the pole tomorrow if the track is dry. During my last two laps, I was caught in traffic, so I could not get back at Tagliani." (Francois Cartier)
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#14 CHUCK WEST (World Speed Motorsports-Red Line Oil/Martini Sunglasses/Harvest Group) "The car is still little too loose. We'll make some changes so we can get more power down. I had to back off in the braking sections as well. But we were on old tires - I'm glad there are two more sessions. The track seemed the same as this morning and the car was a little better." (Pam Morey)
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#50 KENNY WILDEN (P-1 Racing-TrizecHahn/Slick 50) "We were having a great session. Bill (Fickling) was telling me that I was on the pole, and it didn't seem like anyone was going faster at that point, so I backed off. When I tried to get back on, I broke the second gear. So I just pulled over and that was the end of it. Unfortunately, we really needed the remaining eight minutes to keep up with these guys. I was running with both the Player's and the Lynx cars. We were all in one group, but unfortunately, we can't run without a second gear. "We changed a lot of things on this car including the shocks, and the geometry on the front end of the car. It's taken a long time to find what the car needed to start working, and the shocks have been the biggest change. After Cleveland, where we qualified 17th, we knew we had a problem with the large bumps, but suspension dynamics has cleared that up. We shipped in some parts from Europe that are one-of-a-kind, and they worked really well in Toronto, but we didn't get a chance to show it because we had problems in qualifying there as well. I think we've shown in Trois-Rivi=E8res that we can be pretty fast. It's starting to feel more comfortable. "The track is bumpier than last year. It's not as bad as Cleveland, but it's worse than Toronto. Turn two is very tricky. I saw the Lynx guys scrape the wall at the exit a few times."
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#35 DAVID POOK (Budweiser/HYPE ENERGY Drink) "There is no question that this is an excellent car. The team has done a fantastic job. I think that as I start to put a few more laps in and familiarize myself with the track I will continue to improve my time. It was too bad I was held up in traffic near the end of the session. I know that there are a few drivers with experience at Trois- Rivieres but I'll tell you, right now I feel up the challenge. This is my kind of race track.." (Julie Jalbert)
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#7 CAM BINDER (Binder Racing-Western Avionics/Kenn Borek Air Ltd.) "We struggled during practice this morning with the set up, and this afternoon, we made a radical change for qualifying. The car still wasn't where we wanted it. We were hoping to get a good lap in, in case it rained. We improved our time quite a bit from this morning, and that will help me for tomorrow. It'll just depend on the set up."
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That’s a wrap for Friday. Final qualifying is tomorrow between 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The green light and standing start for round three of the Player’s Challenge for the KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship, round eight of the 12-race KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship, is set to begin Sunday, Aug. 3, at 2:05 p.m. ET.