CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green on Sebring "pole"

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Team KOOL Green began a busy week of testing at Sebring International Raceway on February 19-20 in dramatic fashion as Paul Tracy turned the fastest reported time of the pre-season on the airport road course in the ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Team KOOL Green began a busy week of testing at Sebring International Raceway on February 19-20 in dramatic fashion as Paul Tracy turned the fastest reported time of the pre-season on the airport road course in the #26 KOOL Honda-Reynard. Late Tuesday afternoon Tracy toured the 1.7-mile circuit in 50.22s, eclipsing the time of 50.4s set by Helio Castroneves in early February and the 50.5s laps posted by Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti.

"I'm on the pole for the Sebring Grand Prix," said Tracy. "We just kept making the car better and better both days. We ran a 50.9 on Tuesday afternoon, came in, made a couple of small changes, then went out and did a 50.6. I came in, put on a set of new Firestones and put a real good lap together to do the 50.2."

Some of the changes Tracy's crew made to their car on Tuesday included a new shock absorber package which technical partner Michael Andretti recommended after posting a 50.5s lap with his Motorola Honda-Reynard earlier in the afternoon. Tracy found the adjustments to his liking.

"I feel like we have a great road course set-up and I can't wait to get the season started," he said. "I'm ready."

Dario Franchitti concluded his road course test program at Sebring running more than 120 miles and turning a best lap of 50.8s during a one day outing on Monday. Although pleased with the results, Franchitti sees room for improvement for the #27 TKG team.

"I would have liked to run a little more because we are still learning about the car," he said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to combine some of the things Paul and Michael learned Tuesday to what we've learned and translate that into success during the season."

Chief engineer Iain Watt echoed Franchitti's sentiments.

"We ran faster than we did the last time we were here, but we need to continue to fine tune the car so we can be as quick as possible at the season-opening race in Mexico."

The Team KOOL Green cars headed in different directions after the Sebring test, with Tracy and the #26 TKG crew destined for the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course and Franchitti and the #27 crew on their way to Texas Motor Speedway for a two-day test session on February 23 and 24.

Following the tests the team will return to Indianapolis to begin making final preparations for the first round of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series at the new Fundidoro Park road circuit in Monterrey, Mexico on March 11.

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan