CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America Mercedes-Benz final qualifying report

Mauricio Gugelmin's attempt at improving his qualifying position for tomorrow's Motorola 220 at 4.048-mile Road America course in Elkhart Lake, Wis., ended when his Nextel/PacWest Racing/Mercedes crashed during final qualifying for the CART ...

Mauricio Gugelmin's attempt at improving his qualifying position for tomorrow's Motorola 220 at 4.048-mile Road America course in Elkhart Lake, Wis., ended when his Nextel/PacWest Racing/Mercedes crashed during final qualifying for the CART FedEx Championship Series event here. Dario Franchitti earned the pole position with a record lap of 99.866 seconds (145.924 mph).

Gugelmin began the session in seventh position, looking for an opportunity to improve. Unfortunately, the back end of his Champ Car swung out as he was exiting Turn 14, and the momentum carried his race car across the track and then nose-first into the retaining wall. The impact spun the car further around, and the back end of the car impacted the wall heavily as well. He was not seriously injured in the incident, suffering only minor bruising on his left leg and back.

"I turned into the corner, and the car just bit too hard," said Gugelmin, who ended up qualifying 10th with a lap of 101.044 seconds (144.222 mph). "I just got on the gas too hard too quick. It looped me around and spit me across the track. We've got to go to our backup car, because this car is unrepairable. Fortunately, we get to keep our qualifying time from our primary car."

Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing/Mercedes driver Tony Kanaan qualified 17th with a lap of 101.816 seconds (143.129 mph). Slightly further back on the grid is the Motorola/PacWest Racing/Mercedes of Mark Blundell, whose qualifying effort was hampered by a punctured right-rear tire. His time was 102.336 seconds (142.402 mph).

Michel Jourdain Jr. qualified his Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports/Mercedes 21st, thanks to a 102.417-second lap (142.289 mph), while Luiz Garcia Jr. earned the 24th spot with a 103.405-second lap (140.929 mph).

The race starts tomorrow at 1 p.m. (Central). The ABC-TV broadcast of the race will be tape-delayed, beginning at 4 p.m. (Eastern).

<pre> Final Qualifying, Motorola 220 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. Aug. 19, 2000

Pos. Driver Engine Time Speed 1 Dario Franchitti Honda 99.866 145.924 2 Gil de Ferran Honda 100.154 145.504 3 Alexandre Tagliani Ford 100.260 145.350 4 Michael Andretti Ford 100.401 145.146 5 Adrian Fernandez Ford 100.581 144.886 6 Helio Castroneves Honda 100.610 144.844 7 Paul Tracy Honda 100.682 144.741 8 Christian Fittipaldi Ford 100.902 144.425 9 Kenny Brack Ford 100.977 144.318 10 Mauricio Gugelmin Mercedes-Benz 101.044 144.222 17 Tony Kanaan Mercedes-Benz 101.816 143.129 20 Mark Blundell Mercedes-Benz 102.336 142.402 21 Michel Jourdain Jr. Mercedes-Benz 102.417 142.289 24 Luiz Garcia Jr. Mercedes-Benz 103.405 140.929

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Kenny Brack , Mark Blundell , Michel Jourdain , Luiz Garcia Jr. , Mo Nunn