CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal Friday Laguna Seca Notes

MOTEREY, CALIFORNIA . . . Shell Champ Car driver Bryan Herta captured the provisional pole for Sunday's Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway with a lap of 117.903 mph. Herta, a six time pole winner in CART, is positioned to capture his first pole of...

MOTEREY, CALIFORNIA . . . Shell Champ Car driver Bryan Herta captured the provisional pole for Sunday's Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway with a lap of 117.903 mph. Herta, a six time pole winner in CART, is positioned to capture his first pole of the season and to secure his second front row start of the year. Herta, the defending champion of the Shell 300, has never failed to qualify in the front row when racing at Laguna Seca.

"A lot of people ask me why I am so successful on this track and I wish I had a good answer for them," said Herta. "All I know is that racing on this course comes easy to me. The first time I ever ran here [Laguna Seca] was in the Barber Saab Series and I qualified up front and won the race. My success continued through Indy Lights right into CART. This track compliments my driving abilities. All I know is that I plan to take advantage of the success this weekend and enjoy it while it lasts."

Laguna Seca was the site of Herta's first Champ Car win which came last September in the Shell 300. In his four CART races in Monterey Herta has posted three top-ten results, including a first and second place effort. Team owner Bobby Rahal is the all-time CART leader in wins at Laguna Seca with four wins from 1984-87.

Herta's teammate Max Papis driving the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Reynard posted the third fastest time of the provisional qualifying session with a lap of 116.911 miles per hour. Papis captured his first CART pole at Chicago in August. His top start on a road course this season was fourth at Long Beach in April.

"The morning session was erratic and chaotic for us," said Papis. "Things really came together this afternoon and we had an extremely productive run. We know what we have to do to be fast on this track because we had such a productive test here in March. The car is ok and it is great that we were able to qualify so well, but the car can be better and it is our job to make it better."

The Shell 300 will be run at historic Laguna Seca Raceway on Sunday at 3:00 PM EDT and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta