CHAMPCAR/CART: Mercedes Mid-Ohio provisional qualifying

Race: Miller Lite 200, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio Date/Session: Friday, August 11, 2000 Provisional Qualifying Gugelmin Qualifies 10th at Mid-Ohio Mauricio Gugelmin put his Mercedes-powered PacWest Nextel race...

Race: Miller Lite 200, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio

Date/Session: Friday, August 11, 2000 Provisional Qualifying

Gugelmin Qualifies 10th at Mid-Ohio

Mauricio Gugelmin put his Mercedes-powered PacWest Nextel race car 10th on the provisional grid for Sunday's Miller Lite 225 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Gil de Ferran scored the provisional pole by lapping the 2.258-mile permanent road course in 65.347 seconds (124.394 mph).

Gugelmin, sporting a new goatee this weekend, lapped the circuit in 66.919 seconds (121.472 mph). The Brazilian driver made his Champ Car debut at Mid-Ohio in 1993 and has racked up four top-six starts and a top-five finish at the circuit.

"This track can be strange," said Gugelmin about his provisional qualifying run. "It takes a while to get grip, and so you have to be patient, keep running and wait for the track to come to you. We have some work to do on the slow and medium-speed corners, but on the quick corners, we're fine."

Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes pilot Tony Kanaan qualified 16th with a lap of 67.714 seconds (120.046 mph).

"It was a very frustrating way to start the weekend," said Kanaan. "We got in just 14 laps (in practice) this morning, and that wasn't enough to get us ready for the qualifying session. We just couldn't get any momentum going, either in practice or in qualifying. But tomorrow's another day, and that's what's good about these road courses. We have until tomorrow to locate the problem, deal with it, and hopefully move ourselves up in the order." Mark Blundell, Gugelmin's PacWest teammate, was the quickest Mercedes driver in the morning practice session but struggled with oversteer in the afternoon. Blundell's lap of 67.877 seconds (119.758 mph) placed him 18th on the provisional grid.

"The car had some understeer in the morning, but then it was loose in the afternoon. We've improved our lap time over a test here earlier this summer, but I'm still a little disappointed at where we are so far. I'm sure we'll find some of the answers we need by tomorrow."

Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports pilot Michel Jourdain Jr. was 19th (68.256 seconds/119.093 mph) while Luiz Garcia Jr. qualified 25th in his Arciero Project Racing Group Mercedes-Benz (72.142 seconds/112.678 mph).

Final qualifying will take place Saturday at 1:45 p.m. EDT. The green flag for the 83-lap Miller Lite 200 waves at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , Michel Jourdain , Luiz Garcia Jr. , Mo Nunn