Patrick Carpentier captured the provisional pole for the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio with a fast lap of 1:07.040 seconds (121.253 mph.) around the 2.258-mile natural terrain road circuit. Carpentier took the top spot from Cristiano da Matta just...
Patrick Carpentier captured the provisional pole for the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio with a fast lap of 1:07.040 seconds (121.253 mph.) around the 2.258-mile natural terrain road circuit. Carpentier took the top spot from Cristiano da Matta just before a red flag cut the session short by a minute or so for the stalled car of Toranosuke Takagi at the keyhole turn. Da Matta held on for the second-fastest time of the session, but Carpentier gets the point for the pole and reserved himself a spot on the front row for Sunday's race.
Da Matta's Newman/Haas racing teammate, Christian Fittipaldi, was third fastest with Carpentier's teammate at Forsythe Racing, Alexandre Tagliani, in fourth. Fifth fastest was Walker Racing's Tony Kanaan.
Max Papis was first to hit the course, rolling off as the one-hour session approached the halfway point. Papis is driving the Fernandez Racing Lola while driver and team owner Adrian Fernandez recovers from the injuries he received at the end of the Vancouver race. Mario Dominguez, who often leads off the road course qualifying, was the second one out, just as Papis was registering the first time (1:12.243 seconds.) Five minutes after Papis started things going, Dario Franchitti started his session and many of the other drivers hit the track before Dario came around the first time.
On the first tire sets Dominguez was first to top Papis' initial lap, but then Carpentier, and next Franchitti surpassed that time. Michael Andretti was next to top the time chart, then Carpentier took the top time. Andretti took back fast time another time with his next lap, but then da Matta threw down his first challenge, setting the top time at 1:07.095 seconds.
The session was paused when Michel Jourdain's Team Rahal Lola stalled on the pit straight and Paul Tracy spun his Lola directly under the starter's flag stand. All the teams headed out for their last shot on their second set of tires with only a little more than seven minutes remaining in the session.