CHAMPCAR/CART: Elkhart Lake: Team Rahal Friday qualifying report

Vasser and Jourdain prepare for Motorola 240. ELKHART LAKE, WI . . . Team Rahal drivers battled severe understeer and various mechanical gremlins in qualifying while preparing for Sunday's CART Grand Prix of Road America. Shell driver Jimmy...

Vasser and Jourdain prepare for Motorola 240.

ELKHART LAKE, WI . . . Team Rahal drivers battled severe understeer and various mechanical gremlins in qualifying while preparing for Sunday's CART Grand Prix of Road America.

Shell driver Jimmy Vasser took fourteenth on the provisional grid with a fast lap of 139.783 mph. Vasser, the 1996 CART champion, lost his fastest qualifying lap when he spun exiting Turn 12 on his final qualifying lap. Unable to complete the lap Vasser was forced to use his second quickest lap for position.

Michel Jourdain Jr. piloted the Gigante car to 16th on the provisional grid with a fast lap of 139.397 mph. Jourdain fought a wicked understeer condition which plagued the 25-year old Mexican throughout the afternoon.

CART points leader Cristiano da Matta grabbed the provisional pole with a fast lap of 141.980 mph. Vying for his sixth pole of the season, da Matta will start no worse than second for Sunday's race.

Qualifying for the CART Grand Prix of Road America will resume Saturday afternoon at 2:45 PM EDT. Speed Channel will carry the final qualifying session live beginning at 2:30 PM EDT. The Motorola 240 will air live on Speed Channel on Sunday afternoon beginning at 3:00 PM EDT.

Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "I was on a pretty good lap at the end and I slid off into the inside of Turn 12. The traction control just cut off just when I hit the throttle coming off the corner. The car spun the tires and I slid onto the grass. I was relying on the traction control to work a certain way and the thing shut off on the exit. The tires just spun. I think we'll have to talk to the Ford Cosworth guys and see what happened. The Shell car hasn't been good today. It's not terrible but we are fighting a middle corner understeer with a snappy rear end exit. The rear end wants to come around off the corners. We have to look at everything and get the car balanced for Saturday."

Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "It wasn't a very good day for us. The balance in the car hasn't been good. We were fighting a big understeer everywhere. We are going to try some big changes for Saturday. That's all we can do right now. Whatever we tried today wasn't working like we thought. The Gigante team has been working very hard today since we had some engine problems just before practice. They had to change the engine in the morning. It's been very difficult for them. The track seemed to stay constant through the day. The grip was about the same in the morning and afternoon. I think it will have a little more grip on Saturday. I think we can improve in qualifying on Saturday."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain
Teams ART Grand Prix , HART