RED BULL PKV RACING'S NEEL JANI QUALIFIES SEVENTH FOR TOMORROW'S GENERAC CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX GOMMENDY TO START 11TH ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2007 -- Round ...
RED BULL PKV RACING'S NEEL JANI QUALIFIES SEVENTH
FOR TOMORROW'S GENERAC CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX
GOMMENDY TO START 11TH
ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2007 -- Round #10 -- 2007 Champ Car World Series season -- Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing driver Neel Jani will start seventh while teammate Tristan Gommendy will line up 11th for tomorrow's Generac Champ Car Grand Prix in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Jani, in the #21 Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone machine, ran his fast lap of 103.417 seconds (1140.913 mph) during yesterday's provisional qualifying on the legendary and picturesque 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America permanent road course. He will start on the inside of Row #4. Gommendy, #22 Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car, posted a fast time of 103.565 seconds (1140.712 mph) in today's final qualifying and will start on the inside of Row #6.
Jani, who started the day third on the grid following yesterday's provisional qualifying, spent the morning practice experimenting with setup changes in search of additional speed. Following the session in which he posted the ninth fastest time with a lap of 104.637 seconds (139.270 mph), the team felt confident they had found a combination that would improve their speed. During the 15-minute afternoon practice/warm-up, Jani ran a fast lap of 105.094 seconds (138.664 mph), good for 12th on the speed charts, but felt comfortable with the setup changes the team was going to make prior to final qualifying. During qualifying, Jani ran two stints the first, on Bridgestone primary (black) tires, went four laps while the second, on the red (alternate) tire, lasted five laps. Jani's fast lap in final qualifying came in at 104.296 seconds (138.725 mph), which put him 13th on today's report, but because of his time yesterday he dropped only four spots from the provisional to the final grid.
"The Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team had a good qualifying session yesterday, we were third," Jani began. "Today, we struggled quite a lot with the car and we could not improve on yesterday's time, so I have fallen back to seventh place," he said. "It is unfortunate because this morning I thought we found something, but this afternoon it just didn't work. So we just have to see what happens tomorrow."
Gommendy, who was 12th on yesterday's provisional grid with a quick lap of 104.032 seconds (140.080 mph), showed improvement from this morning's opening bell. He posted the fourth fastest time of the morning practice recording as fast lap of 103.851 seconds (140.324 mph). During the afternoon warm-up, Gommendy seemed to take a step back as he logged just the 15th fastest lap with a time of 105.408 seconds (138.359 mph). Then in final qualifying he came on strong recording his fastest lap of the weekend on the tenth and final circuit of his two five lap stints despite.
"It is difficult to find the right setup for this track," Gommendy said. "The Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing team tried a lot of things and I think we definitely improved the car from yesterday, but unfortunately, we used both our sets of black Bridgestone tires yesterday, so we had to use the red tires today and they were slower. We did a good lap time with the red tires, I think we had the third fastest time on reds, but the black tires were definitely quicker today," he explained. "So that is the way it is, I did my best and we will see what happens during the race tomorrow."