CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Team Kool Green Saturday Report

MONTEREY, Calif., (Sept. 12, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will make his seventh front row start this season when the green flag falls for the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca Raceway tomorrow at 12 noon...

MONTEREY, Calif., (Sept. 12, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will make his seventh front row start this season when the green flag falls for the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca Raceway tomorrow at 12 noon PT.

Franchitti held the provisional pole going into today's final qualifying session, but Bryan Herta stole the top spot with a lap of 1:08.146 (118.228 mph). Franchitti's time of 1:08.354 (117.889 mph) was an improvement from yesterday, but he sat out the final eight minutes of qualifying for causing a red flag at the end of provisional qualifying. Behind Herta and Franchitti, Jimmy Vasser and Greg Moore will line-up together in row two.

Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy could not improve upon yesterday's time of 1:09.088 (116.403 mph). Tracy spun during the final qualifying session, also incurring an eight-minute penalty for causing a red flag. He will start from the 18th position on the grid.

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (2nd with a lap-time of 1:08.354 / 117.889 mph)

"I gave it everything I had out there. We're struggling with the balance of the car. In race conditions, the car's not bad - we're not too far away from the ideal setup. We're second and that's not doing too badly. But I wanted the pole for the Team KOOL Green guys. They worked hard to put my car back together after the crash yesterday."

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (18th with a lap-time of 1:09.088 / 116.403 mph)

"The car's not good. We're struggling with loose entry, mid-corner understeer and it's loose coming off of the corners. Everything you don't want a car to do, it's doing. We didn't have a good test here prior to Vancouver. We ran well at Vancouver, but that's a different track than here.

"I spun on my own. It just happened to be at the same time that Castro-Neves put down oil and Pruett spun. It had nothing to do with me. I don't think the eight-minute penalty hurt us that much. It gave us time to think about the car and we made a few changes but it didn't help. The car's not right and you're not going to fix it in 30 minutes. It's frustrating because I've been on the pole and won here. It's not like I don't know how to get around this track."

PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - Provisional Qualifying

Didier Andre of France won the pole for tomorrow's 34-lap Indy Lights race, qualifying with a time of 1:15.747 (106.365 mph). Andre will share the front row with Philipp Peter of Austria, who turned a lap of 1:16.520 (105.290 mph). Naoki Hattori, meanwhile, will start his Team KOOL Green Lola from the 13th position on the grid. He clocked a lap of 1:17.176 (104.395 mph).

NAOKI HATTORI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN LOLA: (14th with a lap-time of 1:17.176 / 104.395 mph)

"I don't know what to say other than the car is not great. We changed some things, which made it better. But it's still not good enough. It's going to be a very difficult race, especially starting from where we are."

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Didier André , Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta , Naoki Hattori , Greg Moore , Philipp Peter