CLEVELAND, OH., (June 30, 2000) -- Flying over the bumpy runways of Burke Lakefront Airport, Dario Franchitti earned the provisional pole in preparation for the 100-lap Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Franchitti powered his ...
CLEVELAND, OH., (June 30, 2000) -- Flying over the bumpy runways of Burke Lakefront Airport, Dario Franchitti earned the provisional pole in preparation for the 100-lap Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Franchitti powered his #27 KOOL car around the 2.106-mile temporary circuit in 57.961 seconds, averaging 130.805 mph.
Franchitti edged Michael Andretti by 0.014 seconds, as Andretti posted a time of 57.975 seconds (130.774 mph). Franchitti and Andretti were the only two drivers below the 58-second mark. Kenny Brack was third quickest with a time of 58.049 seconds (130.607 mph). Of the 25 qualifiers on track, 16 drivers were within a second of Franchitti's time.
Paul Tracy was among the first 13 cars in the split session of qualifying, but will move into the faster second group tomorrow. Tracy stood atop the timesheet before the second group went faster, taking advantage of more rubber build-up on track. Tracy's time was 58.260 seconds (130.134 mph), 0.001 seconds better than Juan Montoya in 10th. Qualifying was tight, as Tracy was just nine-thousandths behind Cristiano da Matta in 8th.
The 25-car field returns to the track for a practice session tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with qualifying at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time. The second group of qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday's race will be broadcast live on ABC-TV at 1:00 p.m.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(9th with a lap-time of 58.260 seconds / 130.134 mph)
"The car is a lot better this weekend than it was last week in Portland. And this is a track I've always done fairly well at. The KOOL car wasn't that good early in this morning's practice. But we've been able to make steady improvements with the car every time we go out. We should be able to qualify well here this weekend. The difference is we've been able to get the rear of the car stable. That has been our problem. We can get rid of understeer, but at the sacrifice of getting big oversteer. We haven't been able to get the two ends (front and rear) closer together in terms of balance. We're a lot closer to it now."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(1st with a lap-time of 57.961 seconds / 130.805 mph)
"It wasn't a perfect lap, but it was better than the other guys managed. The track is so bumpy that half the time you get a good lap by missing some of the bumps. The bumps are consistently bad. So, we're working on the car. The car isn't what we need yet, but it's obviously not too bad. We'll keep working, trying to improve the KOOL car because the rest of the guys will be trying to catch up. I'm sure that tomorrow will be a lot faster. When the rubber gets down, the track just gets faster and faster. I think the fastest lap tomorrow will be the last lap."