(Surfers Paradise, Australia) -- PacWest Racing drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell will face a tough test in tomorrow's 19th round of the FedEx Championship Series on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia. The pair will need...
(Surfers Paradise, Australia) -- PacWest Racing drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell will face a tough test in tomorrow's 19th round of the FedEx Championship Series on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia.
The pair will need yellow flag periods to work in their favor if they are to make their way through the field from their qualifying positions of 18th and 22nd.
Major winds blew a lot of sand on to the track just before the first half of the final qualifying session, which involved both PacWest drivers.
Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, could not improve on his qualifying time of yesterday which was set at 1:34.514.
Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, managed to do just six laps in today's qualifying session before a major vibration at the rear of the car forced him into the pits.
- # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 18th
"Track conditions really played a part in this afternoons session," said Gugelmin.
"The wind was blowing so hard that there was sand and debris all over the track.
"Only two drivers managed to improve on their times from Friday, and those guys both had problems with their cars yesterday."
- # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 22nd
"Once again I was hurt by red flags during qualifying," said Blundell.
"On both of my fastest flying laps, red flags flew and erased my times.
"Then half way through the session, I started having a vibration which eventually ended my session. I didn't even get a chance to use my second set of tires.
"My bad luck continues." QUALIFYING TOP 10: 1: Juan Montoya 1:31.722; 2: Gil de Ferran 1:31.8287; 3: Dario Franchitti; 1:32.059; 4: Paul Tracy 1:32.328; 5: Jimmy Vasser 1:33.052; 6: Michael Andretti 1:33.123; 7: Tony Kanaan 1:33.165; 8: Helio Castroneves 1:33.474; 9: Christian Fittipalid 1:33.490; 10: Cristiano da Matta 1:33.761