CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Team Kool Green Saturday report

Team Kool Green maintains grid positions in Miami. MIAMI - Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy maintained their Friday qualifying positions as rain slowed the second qualifying session today for the inaugural Grand Prix ...

Team Kool Green maintains grid positions in Miami.

MIAMI - Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy maintained their Friday qualifying positions as rain slowed the second qualifying session today for the inaugural Grand Prix Americas. Both drivers finished in the top-ten during the morning practice session and were optimistic about improving their grid positions for tomorrow's 105-lap event through the streets of downtown Miami. But intermittent rain showers foiled everyone's efforts to better their times and the starting line-up remains as set by Friday's session.

Although conditions virtually guaranteed no faster laps would be turned, an all-important front-row starting position and a championship point remained up for grabs, as CART rules provide a guaranteed front-row start for the driver setting the fastest time in each qualifying session. All drivers except provisional pole-sitter Tony Kanaan ventured out on rain tires to try and secure the spot, but that, too, remained unchanged as Scott Dixon kept his second starting position intact by setting quick time during today's one-hour qualifying period.

Franchitti remains seventh (1:04.484 / 77.422 mph) and Tracy 16th (1:03.134 / 79.089 mph). Kanaan keeps the top spot to score his third career pole and first of the 2002 season (1:01.264 / 81.503 mph) followed by Dixon (1:01.444 / 81.264 mph) and Tora Takagi with a career-best third (1:02.039 / 80.485 mph). TKG technical partner Michael Andretti will start 14th (1:03.052 / 79.192 mph).

CART FedEx Champ Car drivers have a 30-minute warm-up tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. EDT, with the Grand Prix Americas scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Both live and tape-delay coverage will be provided by CBS. Check local listings for times.

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"We just struggled out there. There's one section of the track that is so slippery that even when it had a dry line, it was worse than when it was wet. I could see the line and I just tried go a little quicker and I slid across the track and into the tire barriers. The conditions aren't great but there's a front-row starting spot up for grabs, and the fans came out to watch something so we like to give them something to see. I think it's going to be a tough race to finish. Team KOOL Green isn't starting where we want to be, but that's where we are so we've just got to do the best we can. It's a difficult track so it won't be easy. I don't know what the conditions will be tomorrow, but I think it's easier to pass in the wet rather than dry."

Morning Session
Position: 10th
Speed: 76.198 mph
Time: 1:05.529

Sat. Qualifying
Position: 16th
Speed: 61.979 mph
Time: 1:20.563

John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant

"We need luck on our side tomorrow. We need yellows at the right time, we need to pit at opportune times, especially if the leaders don't, and just keep on it. We need to stay out of trouble early and see where the cards fall. Probably the track will dry up for the race, but then again there are a lot of slippery spots even when it's dry, so it will be a tough deal wet or dry."

Dario Franchitti -- #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"With the delay I wasn't sure what was happening and when we went out I thought we were on the ten-minute practice session. Kyle (Moyer, team manager) tried to tell me but I guess I was trying to talk to him on the radio at the same time. I was having some fun and trying things to see how the car was handling when I spun and brought out the red flag. I didn't realize we were in the qualifying session, but we were. I lost my fastest lap. The KOOL car is handling well in the wet conditions, but I can't even describe how slippery the track was. I was getting held up at the end of the session when I turned my fast lap. I think we could have been even quicker."

Morning Session
Position: 4th
Speed: 77.267 mph
Time: 1:04.623

Sat. Qualifying
Position: 17th
Speed: 61.977 mphg
Time: 1:20.566

Kyle Moyer, Team KOOL Green Team Manager

"I think we have a good car. Obviously the track is very tricky and slippery and we've struggled to get the best out of it. I think we showed this morning and then again this afternoon that we've got a decent car to work with. We know now what our dry set up will be and we know what our wet set up will be. Dry or wet it's going to be difficult to pass on the track and we're going to have to rely on Dario and the TKG crew to give us great driving and pit stops and we'll see what happens."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Tora Takagi , John Anderson