Another Fast Day At the Oval Office It was fast out there today - really fast. In fact, the top 11 quickest cars in today's qualifying session were faster than last year's pole sitter. And with the whole field running within about a second from...
Another Fast Day At the Oval Office
It was fast out there today - really fast. In fact, the top 11 quickest cars in today's qualifying session were faster than last year's pole sitter. And with the whole field running within about a second from the #1 grid spot to the #25 grid position, it's evident tomorrow's race is going to be extremely competitive. Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves, today's pole winner with a 25.849 seconds lap, complimented his Firestone tires for contributing to a strong qualifying run. The talented Brazilian said "the car was just fantastic! Did you see that! I was really solid and would have been even faster if I hadn't pushed it too hard on turns three and four. But it only takes one good lap to be the fastest and today I did it."
"Tuesday night, during a press conference in Tokyo, Michael Andretti gave us a most unusual compliment. He said the Firestone tires were "too good." He said he remembered a time when he could count on a competitor's tires "going away" in a race, setting up an opportunity for him to pass. But since Firestone has been the sole tire supplier to CART for the last two seasons, he's no longer able to do that. In every session thus far at Motegi, we believe Michael and the other 24 drivers have used that consistent performance as a benchmark to fine-tune their machines. We fully expect tomorrow's race to be one of the best ever conducted at Motegi. The teams and drivers are obviously primed, the fans are already showing their enthusiasm, and the Firehawk radials are pumped and ready to go racing."
What other drivers said about their Firestone tires:
Michel Jourdain, Jr.: "The tires have been working so good; the consistency is great."
Dario Franchitti: "The tires are what you'd expect from Firestone; great grip, great consistency."
Alex Zanardi: "Grip and consistency have been very good; I can't see much drop off in performance."
<pre> Temperature Information (In Fahrenheit)
Time Ambient Track 9:30 a.m. 70 103 10:30 a.m. 72 104 1:30 p.m. 84 119 2:30 p.m. 82 109