Gugelmin Stymied in Qualifying Bid Gil de Ferran claimed his third pole of the season Saturday, topping the time sheets at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, site of Sunday's Miller Lite 200. The Brazilian pilot lapped the 2.258-mile permanent...
Gugelmin Stymied in Qualifying Bid Gil de Ferran claimed his third pole of the season Saturday, topping the time sheets at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, site of Sunday's Miller Lite 200. The Brazilian pilot lapped the 2.258-mile permanent road course in 65.347 seconds (124.394 mph). Then, with five minutes remaining in the session, de Ferran slid into the gravel trap at Turn One and overturned. De Ferran emerged unscathed, but CART officials ended the session.
By doing so, the incident stifled Mercedes driver Mauricio Gugelmin's bid for a hot lap. Gugelmin had positioned himself to be free of traffic and was in the middle of a fast lap when de Ferran's slide brought out the red flag, ending the session. Gugelmin had to settle for a qualifying time of 66.529 seconds (122.184 mph) which placed his PacWest Nextel Mercedes-Benz 13th on the grid.
"I am really mad that I didn't get that lap in," said Gugelmin. "I would have been in the top six for certain. The car is working great. I am happy with the engine. We just need to work on the braking because the car gets a little bit loose under braking.
"There is only one place to pass here, so it will be tough tomorrow," Gugelmin continued. "We'll just have to be smart."
Teammate Mark Blundell qualified his PacWest Motorola Mercedes 18th with a lap of 67.069 seconds (121.201 mph). Third-year driver Tony Kanaan will start 19th (67.173 seconds/121.013 mph) in the Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing machine.
Michel Jourdain Jr.'s Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports Mercedes suffered a broken header early in the qualifying session. Jourdain Jr. qualified 24th with Friday's provisional lap time of 68.256 seconds (119.093 mph). Luiz Garcia Jr., driver of the Arciero Project Racing Group Mercedes-Benz, qualified 25th after lapping the circuit in 69.471 seconds (117.010 mph).
The 19th edition of the Miller Lite 200 gets underway Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT (ABC-TV, 4 p.m.).