CHAMPCAR/CART: HoustonFriday Qualifying Report

Texaco GP of Houston FedEx CART Championship Series Friday qualifying October 2, 1998 -- Houston, TX Mike Stucker -- Motorsport News International Qualifying for Sunday's CART Texaco GP of Houston got underway at 2:30 PM. Air temperature was 92...

Texaco GP of Houston FedEx CART Championship Series Friday qualifying October 2, 1998 -- Houston, TX Mike Stucker -- Motorsport News International

Qualifying for Sunday's CART Texaco GP of Houston got underway at 2:30 PM. Air temperature was 92 degrees F with track temp of 106 degrees F. Dario Franchitti turns a lap of 1:00.572 about 5 minutes into the session for the first qualifying group. That time is soon beaten by Greg Moore with a lap of 1:00.439. Moore will lower his time to 1:00.345 before spinning in turn 4. In mid spin, Moore light his tires in an attempt to spin the car around. Instead, he stalls, resulting a red flag, and has to be restarted by the CART safety workers. The session will be red flagged one more time as Alex Zanardi tags the outside wall in turn 5, which results in a standard 8 minute penalty for causing delay for Zanardi after the session resumes. Checkered flag waves on group one at 3:00 with Moore on provisional pole with a lap time of 1:00.345 for an average speed of 91.096 mph.

Group two qualifying begins at 3:15 with the air temperature down 1 degree to 91F and the track temperature down 4 degrees to 102F. Seven minutes in Bobby Rahal clocks fastest lap so far of 1:00.91. Arnd Meier spins in turn 5 and then Ribeiro continues his spinning ways from this morning. Richie Hearn spins twice before Ribeiro spins yet again. Helio Castro-Neves and

Max Papis also also run-off the track harmlessly. Michael Jourdain Jr. spins, stalls, and catches fire in turn 6, but is quickly put out and restarted by CART safety team. Best move of the session comes when Max Papis locks his brakes overtaking his teammate Robbie Gordon and just manages to slide his Reynard between Gordon and the wall in a tight left hand corner.

Fastest driver in Group two and fastest overall is Bobby Rahal, who captured the provisional pole with a lap of 1:00.191 for a speed of 99.329 mph. Not only was there celebrating in the Miller Lite pits, but the fans were also ecstatic about the results. Second fastest provisional time goes to Moore, with third fastest to Franchitti with a time of 1:00.572.

Qualifying will resume Saturday, October 3, at 12:45 PM.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Alex Zanardi , Michael Jourdain , Richie Hearn , Greg Moore