LONG BEACH, Calif., (April 15, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will be starting from the back of the pack in tomorrow's 82-lap Grand Prix of Long Beach. Tracy struggled with the setup of his car and will start from the...
LONG BEACH, Calif., (April 15, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will be starting from the back of the pack in tomorrow's 82-lap Grand Prix of Long Beach. Tracy struggled with the setup of his car and will start from the 17th spot on the grid. Franchitti will start 19th after having to stand on his time from Friday qualifying after he hit the wall early in today's qualifying session.
Gil de Ferran earned his second pole position of the year and the eighth of his career in completing the 1.97-mile street circuit in 1.07.494 seconds, averaging 104.969 mph. Teammates Jimmy Vasser and Juan Montoya secured the next two starting positions. Vasser made all 11 turns in 1:07.703 (104.645 mph), while Montoya clocked a lap of 1:07.984 (104.213 mph).
Tracy's best lap in an ill-handling car was 1:09.516 (101.916 mph), while Franchitti was forced to stand on yesterday's time of 1:09.009 (102.665 mph). Franchitti had to serve two 8-minute penalties during today's 30-minute qualifying session. One for causing a red flag during yesterday's qualifying and a second for causing a red flag during today's qualifying session when he hit the wall in turn five. The 16 minutes in penalties didn't allow the team enough time to bring out the spare car and attempt to qualify it.
Tomorrow's race begins at 1:00 p.m. PT, while ESPN's one-hour tape-delayed broadcast begins at 5:00 p.m. ET.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (17th with a lap-time of 1:09.516 seconds / 101.916 mph)
"We've been round and round trying to find the right setup on the KOOL car, but we can't get a handle on it. Now we'll have to pull some hero stuff from the back of the grid. We just need to finish the race and see if we can pick up some points. When you start this far back it's really hard. You're relying on attrition and quick pit stops. Hopefully, we can make up a little bit there. Our goal is just to finish. You don't want a broken car before Rio."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (19th with a lap-time of 1:09.009 seconds / 102.665 mph)
"I'm disappointed. The guys worked hard to get the engine back into the KOOL car. I made a mistake. I went out there and was trying a bit too hard on my first lap. I turned in at Turn 5 where the car had understeer before and it didn't understeer this time. I was surprised that it gripped as hard as it did. I caught the wall, so it's my mistake. I've got to put this behind me right away. I'll be pissed off for a while, but you've got to get on with it. I need to look forward and figure out how to get as high up as I can in the race. You need to start thinking about our strategy for passing in the race."