CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Team Kool Green Friday qualifying report

Franchitti 12th, Tracy 13th in provisional qualifying in Denver. DENVER, Colorado - What do you get if you combine mile-high elevation with a brand new race track? As Team KOOL Green found out on Friday, the answer is, a whole new set of ...

Franchitti 12th, Tracy 13th in provisional qualifying in Denver.

DENVER, Colorado - What do you get if you combine mile-high elevation with a brand new race track? As Team KOOL Green found out on Friday, the answer is, a whole new set of challenges. While drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy managed to post the twelfth and thirteenth quickest times respectively during the opening qualifying period for the Shell Grand Prix of Denver, both veteran TKG drivers admitted that the mostly concrete surfaced track on Denver's 1.65-mile temporary street course, made for a rather slippery and bumpy ride.

Franchitti posted a best lap of 1:03. 619 seconds (93.199 mph) to earn the number twelve spot while Tracy rang up a lap of 1:03.632 seconds (93.180 mph) for thirteenth position. Adrian Fernandez earned a championship point after recording the best time of the day to win the provisional pole. The Mexican driver posted a lap of 1:02.073 seconds (95.520 mph) and guaranteed himself a front row starting position for Sunday's race. Christian Fittipaldi was second quickest, posting a best lap of 1:02.440 seconds (94.958 mph), while Tony Kanaan was third with a quick lap of 1:02.454 seconds (94.937 mph).

Tomorrow's CART FedEx Champ Car schedule starts off with practice at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time and will be followed by the final qualifying at 1:45 p.m. Speed Channel will carry qualifying live starting at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"In order to perform, you have to have the wheels on the ground. We're having some problems with that right now. It's so bumpy out here; I've never experienced a track like this in my life. The smooth parts of the track are like ice and it's very challenging for the drivers. We've been really struggling with the KOOL car on the bumps and we haven't been able to sort that out yet. We've been limited on track time by red flags during qualifying and we had a mechanical problem this morning. So that really hasn't helped us. With the conditions of the track, it throws our normal set-ups out the window. We'll have to get a handle on this tonight."

Morning Practice
Position: 7th
Speed: 93.501 mph
Time: 1:03.413 seconds

Provisional Qualifying
Position: 12th
Speed: 93.199 mph
Time: 1:03.619 seconds

Kyle Moyer, Team KOOL Green Team Manager:

"The thinner air here in Denver makes everything run hotter. On top of that this is a slow track and we run hot on slow tracks. If you combine the heat with the increased elevation, it's really difficult to get the air to move through the radiators and the brakes. The brakes and the car are running at higher temperatures than they have all year. Fortunately with a turbocharged engine, you can get the same amount of power at this elevation. Our biggest problem is how to run enough air through the car to keep it cool."

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"Both my runs were cut short by the red flags. Each time I got the tires up to temperature there would be another red flag. I didn't get a lap in, other than a warm up lap. This is an extremely slippery track, guys are going off and it's pretty hard to keep the KOOL car off the walls. It's catching guys out. It caught me out this morning, and this afternoon a lot of guys were sliding off. It's hard to say if it'll change. Right now there's not a lot of rubber on the track so we'll just have to wait and see. I think we'll see lap times a second quicker tomorrow, but I also think you're still going to see a lot of guys sliding around just like today. "

Morning Practice
Position: 12th
Speed: 92.216 mph
Time: 1:04.297 seconds

Provisional Qualifying
Position: 13th
Speed 93.180 mph
Time: 1:03.632 seconds

John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant

"Unfortunately, we have not gotten a handle on the grip. There are a lot of changes on the track surface; there are a lot of bumps and a lot of rough spots. We just haven't seemed to be able to get that grip level up to a point where Paul is comfortable enough to go out and turn a real quick lap. It's up to us to get a handle on it, other guys have. That's what we'll be working on tonight."

-tkg-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , John Anderson