MIXED RESULTS FOR TEAM KOOL GREEN AT MICHIGAN AND MID-OHIO INDIANAPOLIS (July 1, 1999) -Team KOOL Green experienced mixed results in testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Michigan Speedway this week. Dario Franchitti was one of the...
MIXED RESULTS FOR TEAM KOOL GREEN AT MICHIGAN AND MID-OHIO
INDIANAPOLIS (July 1, 1999) -Team KOOL Green experienced mixed results in testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Michigan Speedway this week. Dario Franchitti was one of the fastest drivers in CART's two day open test at Mid-Ohio, while Paul Tracy lapped Michigan at more than 226 mph before crashing as the result of an engine malfunction. Tracy was not injured in the accident.
The two week break between the Cleveland and Road America races afforded Team KOOL Green the opportunity to carry-out extensive testing on their Honda-Reynards in both road course and speedway trim. Franchitti, who had tested at Mid-Ohio in early June, continued to evaluate the team's road course set-ups and conducted tire tests for Firestone, while Tracy focused on engine testing and aerodynamic work at Michigan in Team KOOL Green's first visit to a speedway this season.
Franchitti, who set the Mid-Ohio track record last year at 65.679s, ran a total of 97 miles on Tuesday and 190 miles on Wednesday, turning a fast lap of 65.981s on Tuesday and 65.048s on Wednesday.
"We had quite a reasonable test," said Team KOOL Green technical director Don Halliday. "Initially, we went around in circles waiting for the track to come-in on Tuesday, but once it did we made good progress and finished-up right on the pace. Wednesday we picked-up where we left-off establishing baseline set-ups for the race, then focused on testing development tires for Firestone.
"It was very hot when we tested here earlier, while the weather Tuesday and Wednesday was more comfortable. We've been quick in all types of conditions, and we know Dario's good in the rain, so we're fairly confident of being on the pace on race weekend no matter what the weatherman has in store."
Tracy's test at Michigan also proved productive, despite being cut short by Wednesday's accident. Tracy ran a total of 180 miles on Tuesday. Although he concentrated on development work for Honda rather than a fast time, his best lap of 226.2 mph was more than 1 mph faster than he qualified for last year' s U.S. 500. Yesterday he completed a total of 142 miles and lapped at 226.6 mph before crashing.
"The engine dumped oil on the rear tires going into Turn One," said Tracy. "I fought the car all the way and almost had it saved when it got away from me and I hit the wall coming off Turn Two. Normally when you crash at Michigan it costs you a whole car, but we only hurt the sidepod, suspension and underwing. The tub and the gearbox are OK, we just didn't have the parts on hand to fix the car so that was the end of the test. Still, we learned a lot in the two days and I think we'll be in good shape for the U.S. 500."
Following the test, Team KOOL Green returned to Indianapolis to concentrate on preparations for the Texaco/Havoline 200 at Road America on July 11.