DARIO FRANCHITTI EARNS PROVISIONAL POLE, TRACY PLACES 10TH LONG BEACH, Calif., (April 16, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti won the provisional pole in today's qualifying with a lap of 1:01.805 seconds for an average speed of 106.244...
DARIO FRANCHITTI EARNS PROVISIONAL POLE, TRACY PLACES 10TH
LONG BEACH, Calif., (April 16, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti won the provisional pole in today's qualifying with a lap of 1:01.805 seconds for an average speed of 106.244 mph. Franchitti has six career poles to date and will go for number seven in tomorrow afternoon's final qualifying session at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Teammate Paul Tracy, meanwhile, placed 10th with a lap of 1:02.731 (104.676 mph).
Franchitti's time stood up against Juan Montoya's best lap, which was just 0.151 seconds off of the pole (1:01.956 / 105.985 mph). Bryan Herta managed the third-fastest lap of the afternoon with a time of 1:02.189 (105.888 mph).
Tomorrow, Franchitti and Tracy will take part in the second half of qualifying beginning at 1:30 p.m. The slower cars from today's qualifying will hit the track at 12:45 p.m.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (10th with a lap-time of 1:02.731 seconds / 104.676 mph)
"Traffic is always a problem here and I just couldn't get a clear lap. But the car is good. My fastest time was on my fourth lap (of eight laps), so we know that if we'd gotten a clear lap later in the session we'd have been further up the grid. But it's the same for everyone. I'll regroup with the Team KOOL Green engineers overnight, make some improvements to the car and make a strong run in tomorrow's final qualifying session." On the new section of the track: "The new part of the track is really tight, just as you'd expect on a street course. But it's also very slippery. Everybody's going to have to be careful through there because if a car gets sideways in there, you're looking at a red flag."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (1st with a lap-time of 1:01.805 seconds / 106.244 mph)
"Teamwork. Team KOOL Green is responsible for the fast lap. We worked hard and improved the car the whole way through the session. The entire package was good - the Honda engine, the Firestone tires and Reynard chassis. I made a slight mistake on my fast lap, locking up the fronts and flat-spotting the tires. Other than that, it wasn't a bad lap. But the track is getting faster with every mile that we put on it. So I know we'll have to make the car better and be faster tomorrow."
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship
Felipe Giaffone earned the provisional pole in the first day of qualifying, turning a lap of 1:08.721 at an average speed of 95.552 mph. Philipp Peter was second quick with a time of 1:09.081 (95.054 mph), while Guy Smith was third quickest at 1:09.189 (94.905 mph). Meanwhile, Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane was running as high as fifth in the session but placed 11th. His best lap around the street circuit was 1:09.930 (93.900 mph).
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (11th with a lap-time of 1:09. 930 at 93.900 mph)
"We only had two laps really because I got caught behind someone. Up until the last few minutes of the session, were running in the Top-5. Obviously, we're still working on our car setup. We began the session on old tires and if we had got a good run on a fresh set, we would have been higher. I'm learning the track better. The tires get worked hard around here. On that new set, the Team KOOL Green car felt quite good. We just didn't get the clear lap."