CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Mercedes Qualifying Report

Patrick Carpentier and Mercedes-Benz Earn Milwaukee Pole Fourth Pole for Mercedes is the First for the Magneti Marelli Electronics System Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier earned his second pole of the season today at the ...

Patrick Carpentier and Mercedes-Benz Earn Milwaukee Pole Fourth Pole for Mercedes is the First for the Magneti Marelli Electronics System

Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier earned his second pole of the season today at the Miller Lite 200 at the Milwaukee Mile - the seventh round of the 19-race CART FedEx Championship Series. Carpentier's Reynard earned the position with a lap of 20.028 seconds (185.500 mph). It was the fourth pole of the season earned by the Mercedes-Benz IC108E engine, and the first for the Magneti Marelli electronics and fuel management system that was designed specifically for the new "E" powerplant.

Carpentier's teammate Greg Moore will start second as his Reynard turned in a lap of 20.102 seconds (184.817 mph). Moore and Carpentier each have two of Mercedes' four poles this season, with Moore having earned the first win for the Mercedes-Benz IC108E engine three weeks ago at the Rio 400 in Brazil. Marlboro Team Penske driver Andre Ribeiro will start his Mercedes-powered Penske third, thanks to a lap of 21.138 seconds (184.487mph).

Ribeiro's Marlboro Team Penske teammate Al Unser Jr. earned the seventh position on the grid with a lap of 20.451 seconds (181.663 mph). Former Formula One driver JJ Lehto earned the eighth-starting position with a lap of 20.457 seconds (181.610 mph).

CART rookie Helio Castro-Neves was the sixth Mercedes-powered driver in the top-10, as he qualified 10th at 20.497 seconds (181.256 mph).

The race will be broadcast live on ESPN tomorrow, beginning at 1:00 EDT.

Mercedes-Benz Driver Quotes:

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - First - 20.028 seconds "We found something on the car yesterday that made a big difference. Then we improved again this morning. This is the same car that I won the pole with in Nazareth, so we knew it was good. I'm so happy we made the change to the Magneti Marelli system this weekend. It is just a better system. It delivers the power better. You can really tell a difference in the sound of the engine. The Marelli system has made a huge difference."

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - Second - 20.102 "I'm happy to be on an all-Mercedes-Benz front row. The only thing better than that is an all-Player's/Forsythe front row. It would have been nice to get the pole-point, but I'm really looking forward to the race. My car is set up for traffic. I look forward to racing in traffic. I'm pretty happy with today's results."

Andre Ribeiro, No. 3, Marlboro Team Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear - Third - 20.138 "The last time I had this feeling was Miami, and that was a good weekend. We have a much better car now. It is balanced and consistent. What is difficult out here is we race at a different type of circuit almost every race. You can't have a car that is just good on certain types of tracks. You have to be good everywhere."

Al Unser Jr., No. 2, Marlboro Team Penske/Mercedes/Goodyear - Seventh - 20.451 "We feel good about the Marlboro car. I've said it all along, John Travis designed a brilliant car. We've done a lot of testing, and now we're starting to learn what makes this car happy and what makes it sad."

JJ Lehto, No. 9, Team Hogan Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - Eighth - 20.457 "We've run pretty nicely all weekend. We made an improvement from the morning session, and we'll continue working harder to improve for the race. We're gaining all the time. You have to learn quickly out here.

That's good though, because it makes you push harder."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 16, Team Alumax Reynard/Mercedes/Goodyear - 10th - 20.497 "We had trouble this morning, so I knew we would have to do much better this afternoon. Tom Brown found a very good setup for this afternoon. This morning we had a balance problem. The car was a little off. To be starting in the top 10 makes me very happy. My guys did a great job and I did my best behind the wheel."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, Hollywood Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 11th - 20.533 "Handling-wise I'm very happy. I just need to get a little more out of it. With the handling, though, I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Balance-wise I'm happy."

Mark Blundell, No. 18, Motorola Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone - 18th - 20.854 "Basically, balance-wise we're pinching the corner a little bit. By pinching the corner, you start using up too much of the race track too early in the turn and it's hurting me big time."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Patrick Carpentier , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , Andre Ribeiro , Greg Moore , JJ Lehto , Tom Brown
Teams Team Penske