CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Gold Coast Friday notes

Michael Andretti currently sits fourth following Friday's provisional qualifying for the Indy 300 in Surfer's Paradise, Australia. Andretti, the 1994 race champion and two-time polesitter ('91 and '95), completed a lap with an average speed of ...

Michael Andretti currently sits fourth following Friday's provisional qualifying for the Indy 300 in Surfer's Paradise, Australia. Andretti, the 1994 race champion and two-time polesitter ('91 and '95), completed a lap with an average speed of 108.051 miles per hour. Gil de Ferran, who has a 19-point lead in the drivers' championship, set a new track record in claiming the provisional pole with an average speed of 109.302 miles per hour, while Target teammates Juan Montoya (108.562 mph) and Jimmy Vasser (108.133 mph) were second and third, respectively.

Drivers powered by Ford-Cosworth claimed five of the top 12 positions in Friday's provisional qualifying session. Following Andretti, who qualified fourth, Christian Fittipaldi posted the seventh-fastest time (107.626 mph) and Patrick Carpentier the 10th - fastest time (107.273 mph) while Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack (107.207 mph) and Max Papis (106.892 mph) qualified 11th and 12th, respectively.

Michael Andretti has shown himself to be a strong qualifier in races held on temporary street courses this season. Consider that Andretti has qualified eighth or better in the last four street events, and has started no worse than 14th. After qualifying 14th and 11th, respectively in Long Beach and Detroit, Andretti qualified fourth in Cleveland, third in Toronto where he won the race, eighth in Vancouver and fifth two weeks ago in Houston.

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 11th - "This is a very interesting track because it is different than most street courses. There are some very fast sections but it feels really bumpy in those areas. I had a good lap going late qualifying but I went too deep into Turn 3 and ended up in the runoff and I couldn't get the car in reverse so they red flagged me and the session was over. I think I could have gone quicker because the tires were just getting up to temp. At least we got into the fast session like we wanted."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 12th - "The car felt like it lost some grip from the morning session. Every lap I had problems with wheel spin. I had a good lap going at the end but I lost it when I ran up on Mauricio Gugelmin. Usually traffic isn't a problem on this course because it is so much longer than the usually street course. The good news is we squeezed into the fast session."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Mauricio Gugelmin , Kenny Brack