CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland Mercedes Friday Report

FedEx Championship Series Report Race: Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland Date/Session: Friday, June 25, 1999 Provisional Qualifying Moore Leads Mercedes at Cleveland Greg Moore was the fastest Mercedes driver during ...

FedEx Championship Series Report

Race:           Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland
Date/Session:   Friday, June 25, 1999   Provisional Qualifying

Moore Leads Mercedes at Cleveland

Greg Moore was the fastest Mercedes driver during provisional qualifying today for Sunday's Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland at the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport circuit. Moore and the other seven drivers powered by Mercedes-Benz IC108E Phase III (E3) V8s will have another shot to better provisional pole-winner Gil de Ferran's time of 57.745 seconds (131.294 mph) during tomorrow afternoon's final qualifying session.

Moore's quickest lap today in his Player's/Forsythe Mercedes was 58.042 seconds (130.623 mph), which was good enough for seventh on the grid so far. Marlboro Team Penske's Al Unser Jr. is currently 11th in the field having posted a lap of 58.105 seconds (130.481 seconds). He is followed closely by PacWest/Motorola/Mercedes Racing driver Roberto Moreno (who has been substituting for the injured Mark Blundell for the past several races), who turned a lap of 58.173 seconds (130.329 mph) for the 12th position.

Moore's Player's/Forsythe teammate Patrick Carpentier is 13th thanks to a lap of 58.204 seconds (130.259 mph), while PacWest/Hollywood/Mercedes driver Mauricio Gugelmin is 14th with a lap of 58.367 seconds (129.895 mph). Helio Castro-Neves is 18th on the time sheets having completed a lap of 58.679 seconds (129.205 mph)

CART practice continues tomorrow from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., while final qualifying will be held from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. (EDT). The start of the race is Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (EDT). It will be televised live on ESPN.

Mercedes Quotes

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (seventh/58.042 seconds) "This was not too bad. We improved from this morning. It's unfortunate we didn't get a clear run on our last set of tires. We've got a good place to start from for tomorrow. (On his mid-session spin) I was just trying to go a little too fast. I kicked up some grass, but it was no big deal."

Al Unser Jr., No. 2, Marlboro Team Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear (11th/58.105 seconds) "After the morning practice session we made a number of changes to the Marlboro Mercedes Lola which paid off. I could hustle the car better, and we picked up a lot of time. The whole team worked incredibly hard getting the car ready, and I'm pleased with the progress Goodyear has made. The field is really tight-a tenth of a second will move us up a lot."

Roberto Moreno, No. 18, Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (12th/58.173 seconds) "It wasn't bad. We improved a lot. We haven't got the best out of the car yet. The red flag during the session prevented us from getting a better lap on our second set of tires. One of the problems here is that when you follow someone and they cut the corner, they put a lot of dust on the track and it makes it very slippery. It takes a couple of laps to clean the track off again. You get your best laps when the track is clean."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (13th/58.204 seconds) "I'm pretty happy. The front of the car was unstable in the high-speed corners, but we'll try to fix it. This track only gets used once a year, so it goes from very slippery to more grip through the weekend. Plus, there are a lot of bumps. We need to increase our front stability." Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, Hollywood Mercedes/Firestone (14th/58.367 seconds) "We had a lot of push due to our aerodynamic package on the car. The engineers made a change, and it was better. Now I'm fighting to have better ride quality. Plus, I got in some traffic and we had a number of yellow flags, so I never got in a fast lap. We're in the fast group tomorrow, so that should improve things."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 9, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (18th/58.679 seconds) "We were put a little bit behind the eight ball with the second set of tires. The red flag came out just as I was getting into my fast laps. Obviously, this track is a new setup to us, having never raced here before with the Lola. We've got a good direction to go for tomorrow, so I'm not really concerned. There's one more qualifying session during which we can improve."

Tarso Marques, No. 3, Marlboro Team Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear (22nd/59.089 seconds) "This is the first time I've driven at Cleveland, and we're struggling with our setup. We were able to improve the car for qualifying, but we still have a lot of work to do on the Marlboro Mercedes Penske. I like the track very much, and I hope we can improve for tomorrow.

Provisional Qualifying, Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland Cleveland, Ohio June 25, 1999

Pos.    Driver                  Engine          Time    Speed
1       Gil de Ferran           Honda           57.745  131.294
2       Paul Tracy              Honda           57.787  131.199
3       Bryan Herta             Ford Cosworth   57.822  131.120
4       Michael Andretti        Ford Cosworth   57.853  131.049
5       Juan Montoya            Honda           57.882  130.984
6       PJ Jones                Ford Cosworth   57.906  130.929
7       Greg Moore              Mercedes-Benz   58.042  130.623
8       Christian Fittipaldi    Ford Cosworth   58.063  130.575
9       Cristiano da Matta      Toyota          58.080  130.537
10      Dario Franchitti        Honda           58.103  130.486
11      Al Unser Jr.            Mercedes-Benz   58.105  130.481
12      Roberto Moreno          Mercedes-Benz   58.173  130.329
13      Patrick Carpentier      Mercedes-Benz   58.204  130.259
14      Mauricio Gugelmin       Mercedes-Benz   58.367  129.895
18      Helio Castro-Neves      Mercedes-Benz   58.679  129.205
22      Tarso Marques           Mercedes-Benz   59.089  128.308

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Tarso Marques , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Mark Blundell , Greg Moore , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske