(Surfers Paradise, Australia) -- PacWest drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell hit the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia today for the Indy 300, but struggled to remain in the top half of the group as provisional qualifying commenced...
(Surfers Paradise, Australia) -- PacWest drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell hit the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia today for the Indy 300, but struggled to remain in the top half of the group as provisional qualifying commenced on this 2.795-mile temporary street circuit.
Met by rain for the morning practice session, both drivers put up respectable times early as Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, was running P2 half way through the AM session.
Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz and who is always quick in the rain, was running in third position for a while before he climbed out of the car to wait for the track to dry. They got back out with thirty minutes remaining, but could not maintain their positions.
When qualifying commenced, the conditions of the track had changed and both drivers worked quickly to find a set-up.
Both PacWest drivers hope to improve on their times tomorrow to move closer to the front of the grid for Sunday's race.
- # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 16th
"We made some progress from the morning session," said Gugelmin.
"I'm struggling with a little push, and I'm locking the rears up on braking initially, and locking up the front tires on the exit of the turns.
"My car is definitely not as good as it was here last year, but it's still early.
- # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 21st
"We struggled this afternoon with the overall set-up of my car," said Blundell.
"We made an incorrect change after I came in for a new set of tires, and that cost me some time on the track. My chassis balance got worse as the session went on, and we really didn't have enough time to correct things.
"The session was cut short by a red flag, so we'll just have to come back out tomorrow and prove that we can put up some good times."