INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- After qualifying Friday in the pouring rain for the Porsche Michelin Supercup race ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- After qualifying Friday in the pouring rain for the Porsche Michelin Supercup race #1, the weather at the United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway turned sunny and warm on Saturday allowing the dr ivers to shave as many as eight seconds off their times.
Patrick Huisman, former four-time Supercup champion (1997 -- 2000) took the pole for race #1 in the rain at 1:44.207, while current points leader Wolf Henzler earned the top spot for race #2 with a time of 1:36.842. If Henzler, who has a four point lead in the standings, can stay ahead of his rivals, he is the season champion.
The races for the world's fastest single-marque international sports car series will take place with two 16-lap races on the 2.605-mile road circuit starts at 3 p.m. (CST) Saturday, Sept. 27, with the second race at 10:40 a.m. (CST) Sunday, Sept. 28.
Three drivers are still in the hunt for the season championship at Indianapolis, series leader Wolf Henzler of Germany with 166 points and Germans Pierre Kaffer and Frank Stippler, tied for second with 152 points. There are 40 points available, as 20 point s are awarded to the winner of each race. Stippler leads the series with four victories this season. Stippler and Kaffer qualified second and third for race #1, and second and fifth respectively for the second race.
The two American guest drivers, Road & Track writer Kim Wolfkill and freestyle motocross champion Travis Pastrana, did a good job of building their times from their first practice sessions, but could not crack the top 15 in either session.
All Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars are equipped with a 3.6-liter engines that produce 390 horsepower and can travel from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than four seconds. With the exception of the guest cars, which are prepared by the Porsche factory, all the en tries are private teams which own their cars and hire professional drivers. The Porsche factory has built 200 of these cars in 2003 for Porsche racing customers around the world, including entries in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Europe, Asia and Australia, as well as The Speed Channel World Challenge and Grand-Am Cup series in the U.S. The current 911 GT3 Cup car is the fourth generation Cup car, with the original Carrera 2 Cup car producing 265 horsepower when it was introduced in 1990.