CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Team Kool Green Saturday qualifying report

Franchitti and Tracy to start 7th and 9th in Portland. PORTLAND, Ore.- Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy will start from the seventh and ninth positions respectively for tomorrow's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International...

Franchitti and Tracy to start 7th and 9th in Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore.- Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy will start from the seventh and ninth positions respectively for tomorrow's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway. Franchitti posted a best lap of 59.365 seconds (119.404 mph) around the 11-turn, 1.969-mile permanent road course during Saturday afternoon qualifying. Tracy, who was fourth quickest in Saturday morning practice, saw his chance to earn the pole position eliminated when an electrical short caused him to abort his second qualifying run. At the end of the session the Canadian racer stood in ninth position with a best lap of 59.454 seconds (119.225 mph).

Cristiano da Matta earned his second championship point of the weekend after recording the best time of the day. Da Matta recorded a 58.679 seconds (120.800 mph). Kenny Brack will line up beside da Matta with a best lap of 58.963 seconds (120.218 mph). Bruno Junqueira will start third with a lap of 59.026 seconds (120.089 mph).

Tomorrow's CART FedEx Champ Car schedule starts off with warm up 9:00 a.m. PDT and will be followed by the race at 12:30 p.m. CBS will broadcast the race live beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"During my second run there was a short in the electrical system and I saw smoke in the cockpit. It is really sad because this is the best road course car we've had all season and because of an electrical problem, we're starting ninth. We are going to need to find some luck to move up in the race from our starting position. There are limited opportunities to pass at Portland and the frustrating thing is this car is much better than our time shows. Circumstances have put us in the middle of the pack and the car is more than capable of being four or five spots up the grid. I'm disappointed now but I guess I should be pleased Team KOOL Green is making progress."

Morning Practice
Position: 4th
Speed: 119.826 mph
Time: 59.156 seconds

Qualifying
Position: 9th
Speed: 119.225 mph
Time: 59.454 seconds

Steve Challis, Race Engineer
"We did a slow run to have a time to fall back on and then we wanted to do all that we could on the second run. The KOOL car was pretty good and we're getting better with it every time. There was a really good chance that we could have been in the top five, and coming off of last weekend that would have been really great. We don't have the car figured out quite yet but we're getting better quickly. It's just maddening that we didn't have that second run to show everything that we have."

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I actually think that performance-wise the Lola was a bit better yesterday than it was this session. My first run this afternoon was pretty good, the only problem really was the amount of traffic on the track. I wasn't able to get a clear lap. We did make some changes on the car, but they didn't really help all that much. I'm a bit frustrated, although I must say that Team KOOL Green is much better off than we were last week and we are moving ahead with the Lola. As for tomorrow, the one thing you won't see is a fuel race as it has been in years past. I like that it's going to be flat out racing from the green through to the checkered flag."

Morning Practice
Position: 16th
Speed: 117.851 mph
Time: 1:00.147 seconds

Qualifying
Position: 7th
Speed: 119.404 mph
Time: 59.365 seconds

Allen McDonald, Race Engineer:
"We're very pleased coming off of Laguna that we've made such a step forward. I think that we have a much better understanding of the Lola than we had last weekend and we've incorporated some of the things that we learned there. But I will say we're a little bit disappointed that we didn't go faster than we did today, and we didn't get as much out of our second set of tires as we had hoped we would. I do think we have a reasonably good race car and we'll have to see what we're able to get out of it tomorrow. Our strategy is to stay with the leaders. Dario is a very good race driver, we've got a good handle on the set up and I think we'll have a very good race."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta