CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green Sneak Preview wrap-up

MONTEREY, California - Team KOOL Green teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti wrapped up two days of pre-season interviews, photo shoots and autograph sessions, followed by two days of testing at CART Sneak Preview at Laguna Seca...

MONTEREY, California - Team KOOL Green teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti wrapped up two days of pre-season interviews, photo shoots and autograph sessions, followed by two days of testing at CART Sneak Preview at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Both drivers worked through a long list of items the team prepared for the test and, for the most part, were pleased with the progress of development of the new Honda-Reynard package. Franchitti set the sixth fastest lap of the weekend this afternoon when he clicked off a 1:09.720 second lap, an average speed of 115.559 mph around the 2.238-mile road course. Tracy and the crew of the #26 KOOL Honda-Reynard were able to solve an understeer problem they'd had most of the weekend and Paul was able to turn a 1:10.323 second lap (114.569 mph), placing him 17th for the weekend.

Crisitiano da Matta set the fastest time of the testwith a lap of 1:08.981 seconds (116.797 mph). Team Player's teammates Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani set the second and third fastest times, with Carpentier's fastest lap a 1:09.519 seconds (115.893 mph) and Tagliani's fastest lap a 1:09.545 seconds (115.850 mph).

Both Team KOOL Green drivers continue their pre-season testing next week. Tracy takes to the new California Speedway road course on February 19 and 20, while Franchitti tests at the Homestead Speedway on February 21 and 22.

Paul Tracy -- #26 KOOL Honda-Reynard
"This is why pre-season testing is so important: You've got a lot of work to do to get a new car ready. Obviously we would have liked to have had a fast time to show for our effort, but we were able to accomplish quite a bit because we believe we know what the problem is. We still have a lot of work to do at Team KOOL Green to get ready for the first race and we have a test coming up at the California Speeway road course (February 19 and 20). We will be trying some new things there and hopefully building on what we learned this weekend."

Morning Session
Position: 17th
Speed: 112.815 mph
Time: 1:11.416 secs

Afternoon Session
Position: 15th
Speed: 114.569 mph
Time: 1:10.323 secs

Combined
Position: 17th
Speed: 114.569 mph
Time: 1:10.323 secs

John Anderson, Team KOOL Green consultant:
"It was a bit of a frustrating day. We struggled with understeer on the car both days. We started to get a handle on it in today's last session but unfortunately we've still got some work to do. At the end of the day Paul was trying to set a fast time but he went off course and filled it with gravel. He's frustrated but the season hasn't started yet. We need to come to grips with it and keep moving forward."

Dario Franchitti -- #27 KOOL Honda-Reynard
"We really didn't get any running yesterday so we had a lot of changes to be made and tests to be done. We went out this morning and the car was very good. We made a couple of small changes and were really quite comfortable. We were concentrating on our testing program rather than sticking tires on the KOOL car and trying to go quick. Then this afternoon I don't know if it was track conditions or what, but we lost the balance that we had this morning and we struggled to get that back. It was very frustrating. By the end of the day the car felt as good as it had all afternoon, so we were wanting to put some fresh tires on and go for a time, but the red flag kept coming out (for cars off track). "

Morning Session
Position: 2nd
Speed: 115.559 mph
Time: 1:09.720 secs

Afternoon Session
Position: 12th
Speed: 114.802 mph
Time: 1:09.720 secs

Combined
Position: 6th
Speed: 115.559 mph
Time: 1:09.720 secs

Kyle Moyer, Team KOOL Green team manager:
"Dario's weekend didn't start out to good, but in the end I guess it all worked out since today we were able to get in a full day of good testing. Today showed that Allen McDonald, Dario's new race engineer, is going to be key to our success and Dario is gaining more and more confidence in him. We were a lot better than we showed in the afternoon, but the red flags limited our track time. We got through most of our checklist for this weekend. Overall for Team KOOL Green this was a good test. The good thing about being a multi-car team is that Paul tried a different setup that we thought would work, but it didn't. This afternoon he used the same setup as Dario and was having more success but he also got caught out by the red flags."

-tkg-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , John Anderson