Alex Tagliani Qualifies Seventh In Australia; Kenny Brack To Start 13th TAGLIANI TO MAKE THIRD CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 START - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani put in his third straight strong qualifying effort with a lap of 1 minute, 33.132 ...
Alex Tagliani Qualifies Seventh In Australia; Kenny Brack To Start 13th
TAGLIANI TO MAKE THIRD CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 START - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani put in his third straight strong qualifying effort with a lap of 1 minute, 33.132 seconds, and will start seventh in tomorrow's Honda Indy 300. Tagliani has now qualified eighth or better in each of the last three races, and has started 8th or better in eight consecutive races on road and/or street courses, highlighted by a pole position in Vancouver. Roberto Moreno leapfrogged past Gil de Ferran (1 minute, 32.406 seconds) on his last qualifying lap (1 minute, 32.095 seconds) to claim the pole for tomorrow's race. Cristiano da Matta qualified third followed by Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti. Tagliani's teammate, Patrick Carpentier, qualified ninth with his lap of 1 minute, 33.360 seconds, while Oriol Servia qualified 12th. Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack lost time after making contact with the wall early in the session, bringing a halt to the second session, as did his teammate, Max Papis, who hit the tire wall in Turn 11 with about 10 minutes remaining in the later session. Brack was mired in 25th place for most of qualifying until posting the 13th-fastest time (1 minute, 33.753 seconds) on his final lap before taking the checkered flag.
CHASING THE CHAMPIONSHIP - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack will have to overcome his poor starting position (13th) during tomorrow's Honda Indy 300 if he hopes to make up ground on points leader Gil de Ferran in the chase for the CART drivers' championship. Brack currently trails de Ferran by 26 points with only tomorrow's race and next weekend's Marlboro 500 remaining on the 2001 schedule. Brack's 13th-starting position is his worst on a road or street course since qualifying 17th in Cleveland.
QUALIFYING KEY TO VICTORY - Kenny Brack will not have history on his side as he drives for a victory in tomorrow's Honda Indy 300. In the 10 CART events held in Surfer's Paradise since 1991, only once has the winner of the race started from outside the top 10 (Adrian Fernandez - 2000, started 17th). Incidentally, Brack finished second last season as a rookie in Australia after qualifying 12th.
JOURDAIN TO MAKE HIS 100TH CAREER CHAMP CAR START - Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., will make his 100th career Champ Car start in tomorrow's Honda Indy 300. The youngest driver to ever start a CART FedEx Championship Series event (19 years, six months and 12 days), Jourdain's top finish on a street course this season came at Vancouver (sixth).