CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Team Rahal Friday qualifying report

VASSER GRABS SIXTH ON PROVISIONAL GRID FOR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND CLEVELAND, OH . . . Shell Champ Car driver Jimmy Vasser posted the sixth fastest time in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland with a lap of 129.651...

VASSER GRABS SIXTH ON PROVISIONAL GRID FOR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND

CLEVELAND, OH . . . Shell Champ Car driver Jimmy Vasser posted the sixth fastest time in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland with a lap of 129.651 mph. Vasser looking for his seventh top-ten start of the 2002 season was fifth quickest in the morning practice at Burke Lakefront Airport on the shores of Lake Erie.

Vasser's teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. had braking troubles in the morning session and during qualifying. During Jourdain's initial qualifying run he ran as high as second on the timing chart, but following a delay in the pits for brake service, Jourdain finished 15th overall on the provisional grid with a fast lap of 128.779 mph.

Newman/Haas driver Cristiano da Matta captured the provisional pole with a quick lap of 131.531 mph. He entered the weekend having won the last four CART races and is chasing a record fifth straight win this weekend.

Qualifying will resume on Saturday afternoon on the 2.106 mile street course at 1:45 PM (SPEED Channel 1:30 EDT). Sunday's race will be broadcast live on CBS (1:30 PM EDT).

Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "We came off the trailer better today than we have recently. Ford-Cosworth has improved the traction control after a few rough outings, so I think we can get quicker on Saturday. We really made some strides on the electronics and software and we have made some changes to the chassis that are more to my liking. But Cristiano [da Matta] is still way too far ahead. We just have to put our heads down and figure out our car a little better. I feel better about racing our car right now but I know we can get more out of it. This [Burke Lakefront Airport] is a tremendous place to race. It is a fun place to race."

Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "This morning in practice we were pretty good although we had a problem with the brakes late in the session. That isn't good for a track like this. This afternoon we had a similar problem but the car did feel better. Unfortunately I didn't really get a clear lap on my second set of tires so I don't feel like I got the most out of my car."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain