CHAMPCAR/CART: Detroit Mercedes qualifying notes

ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, The Raceway at Belle Isle, Detroit Sat., June 6, 1998 Final Qualifying Greg Moore and Mercedes-Benz on Pole at Detroit Grand Prix Moore's Third Pole is Mercedes' Fifth in Eight Races This Season ...

ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, The Raceway at Belle Isle, Detroit Sat., June 6, 1998 Final Qualifying

Greg Moore and Mercedes-Benz on Pole at Detroit Grand Prix Moore's Third Pole is Mercedes' Fifth in Eight Races This Season

Player's/Forsythe Racing's Greg Moore scored his third pole of the season and his career today with a stellar lap of 73.530 seconds (114.859 mph) during final qualifying for the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix at the Raceway at Belle Isle.

Moore's pole is the fifth in eight races this season for the all-new Mercedes-Benz IC108E engine, and the second-consecutive pole for the Magneti Marelli electronics and fuel management system designed specifically for the IC108E.

Player's/Forsythe Racing drivers Moore and Patrick Carpentier have scored all five of Mercedes' poles this year. Moore was the top qualifier in Miami and St. Louis and Carpentier earned poles in Nazareth, Pa., and Milwaukee.

Next on the grid with Mercedes-Benz power is the Marlboro Team Penske entry of Al Unser Jr., who qualified 13th thanks to a 74.821-second lap (112.877 mph). Team Alumax rookie Helio Castro-Neves is right behind Unser in 14th, thanks to a 75.037-second lap (112.552 mph) in his Reynard/Mercedes.

Carpentier is 16th with a lap of 75.131 seconds (112.412 mph) in his Reynard/Mercedes.

The race will be broadcast live on ABC-TV beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday. Mercedes-Benz Driver Quotes

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - First - 73.530 sec. "Everybody saw we were quick on the ovals. This shows we're quick on road circuits too. We were very quick at the beginning of the session, and we made a little change and saw it was quicker still. We figured we had a shot at pole, so I hung it out a little. It was a lot of fun. Sunday it will be as fast as you can go for 200 miles."

Al Unser Jr., No. 2, Marlboro Team Penske/Mercedes/Firestone - 13th - 74.821 sec. "Today was better than yesterday, but we're definitely not where we want to be. It's a long race tomorrow. Starting 13th I need to do my best to stay out of trouble in the beginning of the race, pick them off one by one and make sure Marlboro Team Penske is right there at the end."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 16, Team Alumax Reynard/Mercedes/Goodyear - 14th - 75.037 sec. "I tried using different gears in certain turns, such as third and fourth instead of second and third, and that improved my time. To be honest, that was the limit. I tried really hard. I hope in the race I'm able to do the same thing. After this morning we were able to fix a mechanical problem in the transmission, and that helped a lot for qualifying."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's/Forsythe Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 16th - 75.131 sec. "It was a little frustrating. We need more front brake. We fixed a handling problem at the rear, but then we developed a lot of push. At the end I was about to get a good lap but it was ruined when I came up on two slower cars."

Mark Blundell, No. 18, Motorola Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 21st - 76.367 sec. "I'm frustrated. We keep going through different combinations. There is a problem somewhere and we can't seem to figure it out. We're constantly fighting what is underneath us. It doesn't help that we haven't had a lot of track time."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, Hollywood Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 22nd - 76.554 sec. "We actually made something that feels worse for qualifying than practice. The car is jumping so much. All I'm doing is going from the top of one bump to another. The wheels are not spending much time on the ground."

Andre Ribeiro, No. 3, Marlboro Team Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear - 25th - 78.333 sec. "It's been a tough weekend for Marlboro Team Penske. I had problems with my gears in both the morning session and again in qualifying and had to go to my back-up car. Our plan is to focus on going the distance tomorrow for a good finish as we continue to develop the new car."

Final Qualifying, Detroit Grand Prix The Raceway at Belle Isle, Detroit June 6, 1998

Pos Driver                Chassis / Engine / Tires        Time    Speed
1   Greg Moore            Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone      73.530  114.859
2   Alex Zanardi          Reynard/Honda/Firestone         73.822  114.405
3   Adrian Fernandez      Reynard/Ford/Firestone          73.842  114.374
4   Richie Hearn          Swift/Ford/Firestone            73.995  114.137
5   Bryan Herta           Reynard/Ford/Firestone          74.061  114.036
6   Tony Kanaan           Reynard/Honda/Firestone         74.391  113.530
7   Jimmy Vasser          Reynard/Honda/Firestone         74.420  113.486
8   Dario Franchitti      Reynard/Honda/Firestone         74.513  113.344
9   Gil de Ferran         Reynard/Honda/Goodyear          74.582  113.239
10  Christian Fittipaldi  Swift/Ford/Goodyear             74.709  113.047
13  Al Unser Jr.          Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear        74.821  112.877
14  Helio Castro-Neves    Reynard/Mercedes/Goodyear       75.037  112.552
16  Patrick Carpentier    Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone      75.131  112.412
21  Mark Blundell         Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone      76.367  110.592
22  Mauricio Gugelmin     Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone      76.554  110.322
23  JJ Lehto              Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone      76.717  110.088
25  Andre Ribeiro         Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear        78.333  107.817

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Mark Blundell , Richie Hearn , Andre Ribeiro , Greg Moore , JJ Lehto
Teams Team Penske