<pre> QUALIFYING - Saturday, April 29, 2000 Driver Lap Time Speed 1. Alexandre Tagliani 38.587 sec. 173.903 mph 2. Juan Montoya 38.696 sec. 173.413 mph 3. Paul Tracy ...
<pre> QUALIFYING - Saturday, April 29, 2000
Driver Lap Time Speed 1. Alexandre Tagliani 38.587 sec. 173.903 mph 2. Juan Montoya 38.696 sec. 173.413 mph 3. Paul Tracy 38.843 sec. 172.757 mph 4. Kenny Brack 38.876 sec. 172.610 mph 5. Christian Fittipaldi 38.879 sec. 172.597 mph 10. Max Papis 39.876 sec. 171.066 mph
</pre> #7 Max Papis - Miller Lite Ford Cosworth/Reynard
Papis ran among the leaders in the Saturday morning session posting the sixth fastest lap of the practice session (39.046 sec/171.859 mph). Several changes to the car help stabilize the handling through the sharp turns. Based on his practice times Papis went 20th out of 25 cars for qualifying, an advantage since the track was continuing to improve.
Papis in the Miller Lite car posted a qualifying lap of 39.227sec/171.066 mph, which at the time was good enough for fifth on the grid. However each of the final five drivers would surpass his time and Papis would find himself slotted into the tenth spot on the opening grid. The tenth place start is the best of Papis career at Rio including last year when he started 13th and finished a then career best fourth.
"The car felt pretty good," said Papis. "It was comfortable but I think we will be better for the race. The race will be a tough one because of the hard braking corners. There are places to pass but you must be careful because the cars want to understeer and it is easy to clip the wall. Our team has always run well here and I believe we can run well again on Sunday."
#8 Kenny Brack - Shell Ford Cosworth/Reynard
Brack picked up where he left off on Friday afternoon posting a lap of 38.887-sec/172.562 mph on Saturday morning which was good for fourth overall. That speed slotted Brack 22nd overall in the afternoon qualifying session, two spots behind Papis.
Temperatures climbed into the mid-90s for qualifying which raised the track temperature to 121 degrees. Despite the rising temps and concerns about slick conditions Brack's first lap was timed at 39.006 seconds which was good enough for fourth on the grid, but with his second lap he eclipsed Christian Fittipaldi's then pole time by three-thousandths of a second, 38.876 sec. to 38.879 sec.
Brack like Papis watched as the remaining drivers surpass his time, however the fourth place start is he still his best CART start and his fourth consecutive top-seven qualifying effort.
"I guess being new to this circuit, our run wasn't that bad," said Brack. "The conditions changed from this morning but we were able to run faster. That says something for the Firestone tires. With more heat in the afternoon the track didn't feel to slippery. This is a strange track for a for a new driver but I think it will be quite interesting. A driver will have to be aggressive on Sunday since the race is only 200 miles. It will be a sprint from start to finish."