Paul Tracy "3rd ... but no cigar!" said Neil Micklewright whilst waiting for the Champ Car Simple Green Safety Team to bring Paul Tracy back to the pits after he went off the track at turn eight, backwards into the tire wall. "Paul's happy with...
"3rd ... but no cigar!" said Neil Micklewright whilst waiting for the Champ Car Simple Green Safety Team to bring Paul Tracy back to the pits after he went off the track at turn eight, backwards into the tire wall. "Paul's happy with the car and was chasing pole ... better to be trying hard than not hard enough ... a good effort that almost came off."
"I was up 0.18 seconds on my last run at the split and was going for it into turn eight, but ended up a bit wide and touched the kerb and lost it " reported Paul. "The damage isn't bad - just broke the rear wing. I missed out on my first run with the traffic so I aborted and came in. On my second run there was a touch of over steer, but I'm really getting the power down well from the Ford Cosworth engine. We're good for the race".
Paul Tracy qualified 3rd with a lap time of 59.314 seconds.
No real Saturday qualifying chance for Patrick Carpentier - an unresolved gearbox problem kept the car in the pits. "A frustrating afternoon" said both Patrick and Chief Engineer Eric Zeto. Patrick went on "I had a problem changing up from 6th to 7th gear this morning; it kept sticking in neutral on the way up. We made changes in the [gear] box - we haven't got time to see what's really wrong now, so we'll go ahead and just change out the whole gearbox and hope for the best. Its not great to be starting 13th, but it's a long race and I'm confident we're quicker than most, so we should be able to make our way up the pack. We've learned a lot about the conditions and the set up here over the past two days. The car will be right for the race.
Patrick qualified 13th with a lap time of 60.182 / 117.783 mph carried over from Friday's qualifying session.
Rodolfo Lavin's qualifying time was 60.099 seconds on his fourth lap this afternoon, which places him 12th on the grid for Sunday's race at Portland. "The Bridgestone alternate tire is worth 2 - 3 tenths here," said Rodolfo "that's the advantage I had out of them yesterday. We'd made good changes and the car felt good - I was pushing hard on the alternate tire and we hoped that would give us the quicker lap ... that should have taken us up to 6th position ... but I put the left rear [tire] onto the grass in turn 10 and thought I'd saved it, but spun. I wish I'd had these quicker tires on for my first run - I guess I'll have to give my Dad his father's day present by getting us both on the podium tomorrow!"