VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy will start eighth, while teammate Dario Franchitti will start 19th in tomorrow's Molson Indy Vancouver. In the closing stages of today's qualifying, Tracy was on a quick lap and hoping...
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy will start eighth, while teammate Dario Franchitti will start 19th in tomorrow's Molson Indy Vancouver.
In the closing stages of today's qualifying, Tracy was on a quick lap and hoping to improve on his fastest time (104.274 mph =1:01.488 seconds) when he braked too late for Turn 7 and went into the tire barriers ending his qualifying run.
TKG teammate Franchitti had a disappointing day, as he had to sit out the final eight minutes of the 30-miinute qualifying session for causing a red flag in qualifying two weeks ago at Road America. Combined with two red flags at the start of his abbreviated session, limited his track time. His fastest lap was an average of 103.290 mph (1:02.074 seconds) around the 1.781-mile street course.
It's an all-Canadian front row as Player's Racing teammates Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier set the two fastest qualifying times. Tagliani averaged 105.329 mph (1:00.872 seconds) on his quickest lap and Carpentier was close behind with a lap-average speed of 105.239 mph (1:00.924 seconds). (That means Franchitti's track record of 106.144 mph (1:00.405 seconds) that he set in last year's qualifying will stand for another season.)
Champ Car drivers have one more opportunity to improve their cars prior to the race with a 30-minute warm-up session tomorrow morning at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Sunday's 100-lap race, ten more laps than last year's race, starts at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 6:00 p.m. (EDT).
"I was on my last good lap on the tires and was going for a fast time. I got on the brakes too late, couldn't get it stopped and put it into the tires. We've struggled a little this weekend and we haven't found that magic Team KOOL Green street-course setup that we've had the past two years. We just haven't been able to get the balance this year. But I'm pretty happy to be starting eighth because we made some changes to the car today that seemed to work. We've got a good race car and a lot of things can happen in this race. I know we can do a good race from eighth."
"Our problem today really started two weeks ago at Road America when I went off course, caused a red flag during qualifying and had to sit out the final eight minutes of today's session. We were only going to get 22 minutes of qualifying time today (8 minute penalty in a 30-minute session) - best case - so the two red flags made a difficult situation even worse. I was looking at the tire pressures (after the session) and we never even got them up to pressure or temperature. In practice, the KOOL car ran pretty well on old tires, so we're optimistic that we'll have a good race car. But, realistically, starting 19th is going to make for a difficult race."