Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 25, 2002)Â --Â Team Motorola had high hopes for a top spot in provisional qualifying for the Honda Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia. Â Working on a quick lap Michael Andretti was forced to...
Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 25, 2002) -- Team Motorola had high hopes for a top spot in provisional qualifying for the Honda Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia. Working on a quick lap Michael Andretti was forced to slow down after Alex Tagliani brushed the wall in front of him and backed off the power. Andretti posted the ninth quickest time during Friday's provisional qualifying session for Sunday's Honda Indy 300, clocking a best lap of 1:32.574 seconds (108.691 mph) on the 2.795-mile temporary street course on Australia's Gold Coast. The session was interrupted by three red flags which created traffic problems on the circuit.
Bruno Junqueira set a new track record and guaranteed himself a front row start for Sunday's race after posting a best lap of 1:31.515 seconds (109.949 mph) during Friday's provisional qualifying session. Junqueira's time shaved 0.188 seconds off the track record established by Andretti's technical partner Dario Franchitti in 1999. Paul Tracy was second quickest with a best lap of 1:31.575 seconds (109.877 mph), while Scott Dixon was third fastest after posting a lap time of 1:32.143 seconds (109.200 mph).
Saturday's CART FedEx schedule opens with practice from 9:45 -- 11:00 a.m. local time (7:45 p.m. ET on Friday) and will be followed with final qualifying from 1:50 -- 2:50 p.m. local time (11:50 p.m. ET on Friday) Speed Channel will carry qualifying live starting at 11:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"It's disappointing. Tag (Alex Tagliani) tagged the wall in front of me on my quick lap or Team Motorola probably would have been second or third on the grid. You're hanging on for dear life out there. You're driving the car as deep as you can into the corners. You also have to make sure you're not hitting the curbs to hard because they'll throw you into the wall. It's amazing, you start hyperventilating because you're holding your breath on every lap. It's a shame for us right now because I think we have a good car but we're just not showing it."
Sunday will be Michael's 307th start of his career
Michael leads all active Champ Car drivers with 306 race starts, 42 wins, 32 poles and 6564 laps led.
<pre> Friday practice Friday Provisional Qualifying Position: 11th Position: 9th Speed: 106.538 mph Speed: 108.691 mph Time: 1:34.445 seconds Time: 1:32.574 seconds
</pre> Kim Green -- General Manager
"It was certainly a tough qualifying session for everybody. There were a lot of red flags and interruptions. I think the Motorola car is good but we didn't get the best out of it today. Michael was a lot faster on his lap but got hung up in traffic so we have a good starting point for tomorrow. When you're in the envelope like we are it is just a matter of fine tuning the setup for the second qualifying session. We are going to have to rely on getting clear of traffic tomorrow, which is incredibly important. All in all everybody has done a good job preparing the car. With the Australian connection, the team we would certainly love to win another race here in Surfers Paradise."