CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto Friday Track Report

Molson Indy FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Friday (July 17, 1998) -- Today's CART on-track activities begin with a 90-minute practice session beginning at 10:30 a.m. The afternoon provisional qualifying session will take to...

Molson Indy FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Friday

(July 17, 1998) --

Today's CART on-track activities begin with a 90-minute practice session beginning at 10:30 a.m. The afternoon provisional qualifying session will take to the track at 2:30 p.m. and will be split into two groups with Group One comprised of the fastest drivers from the previous road course qualifying results. The Group Two session will take the Green Flag at 3:15 p.m. Each group session will last 30 minutes. The FedEx Championship drivers will be attempting to break the qualifying record of 105.694 mph (58.618 seconds) set in 1997 by DARIO FRANCHITTI. The Marlboro Pole winner will collect $10,000 for the effort and if the driver can go on to win the race, he will collect an additional rollover bonus of $270,000 from Marlboro. The Marlboro Pole Award rollover bonus has not been collected by a FedEx Championship Series driver for sixteen races. The bonus grows by $15,000 each race until a driver combines a pole-winning performance with a race victory. The award was last claimed by ALEX ZANARDI at Cleveland in 1997.

K. Kirk Russell, CART Vice President of Competition and Wally Dallenbach, Chief Steward have announced that the official lap distance for this week's Molson Indy is 1.721 miles and the scheduled race distance will be 95 laps (163.495 miles).

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:30 a.m. to start the first practice session of the weekend for the FedEx Championship Series drivers.

RED FLAG waves at 10:35 a.m. after #26 TRACY backs his car into the wall at Turn 10. TRACY is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains some damage to the rear wing. CART safety workers tow the car back to the pit area. TRACY was the fastest of the session at this point with a lap of 99.667 mph (1:02.163), followed by #5X DE FERRAN (95.715 mph; 1:04.730) and #34 SALLES (92.221 mph; 1:07.182).

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:41 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 10:50 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #1 ZANARDI with a lap of 101.789 mph; 1:00.867), followed by #11 FITTIPALDI (101.761 mph; 1:00.884) and #18 BLUNDELL (101.571 mph; 1:00.998).

At 11 a.m., 30 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #1 ZANARDI with a lap of 102.498 mph (1:00.446), followed by #11 FITTIPALDI (101.761 mph; 1:00.884) and #6 ANDRETTI (101.662 mph; 1:00.943).

At 11:10 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 11 a.m. report.

At 11:11 a.m., #5 DE FERRAN bushes the wall at Turn 6A and continues to his pit area.

At 11:20 a.m., 50 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 11 a.m. report.

At 11:30 a.m., one hour into the session, the fastest driver is still #1 ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 102.498 mph (1:00..446), followed by #5 DE FERRAN (102.231 mph; 1:00.604) and #11 FITTIPALDI (101.761 mph; 1:00.884).

At 11:32 a.m., #33 CARPENTIER enters the run-off at Turn 1. CART safety workers get the car re-started and CARPENTIER returns to the track without damage to the car.

At 11:33 a.m., #10 HEARN spins at Turn 6A but continues on course to his pit area.

At 11:38 a.m., #5 DE FERRAN enters the run-off at Turn 8. DE FERRAN continues on course without damage to the car.

At 11:40 a.m., 70 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 11:30 a.m. report.

At 11:41 a.m., #40 FERNANDEZ slides into the run-off at Turn 3.

At 11:44 a.m., #12 VASSER enters the run-off at Turn 3 and continues on course without damage to the car.

At 11:48 a.m., #10 HEARN logs the fastest lap of the session with a lap of 102.507 mph (1:00.441).

At 11:50 a.m., 80 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #10 HEARN with a lap of 102.507 mph (1:00.441), followed by #1 ZANARDI (102.498 mph; 1:00.446) and #27 FRANCHITTI (102.452 mph; 1:00.473).

At 11:52 a.m., #12 VASSER logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 102.663 mph (1:00.349).

At 11:55 a.m., #6 ANDRETTI clocks the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 103.186 mph (1:00.043 mph).

At 11:56 a.m., #1 ZANARDI surpasses ANDRETTI's lap with a speed of 103.828 mph (59.672 seconds).

At 11:57 a.m., #1 ZANARDI slides into the run-off at Turn 8 and stalls the car.

RED FLAG waves at 11:58 a.m. for CART safety workers to retrieve ZANARDI's car.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 11:59 a.m. to end the session as there will not be enough time to retrieve ZANARDI's car before the scheduled end of the session as 12 p.m. The fastest driver is still #1 ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 103.828 mph (59.672 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (103.683 mph; 59.755 seconds) and #8 HERTA (103.184 mph; 1:00.044).

FedEx Championship drivers introduced 35 cars to the track in this morning's practice session with secondary cars utilized by #40X FERNANDEZ, #6X ANDRETTI, #5X DE FERRAN, #20X PRUETT, #26X TRACY, #36X BARRON, and #77X MEIER. The top 23 cars are separated by less than two seconds in lap times at the end of the session. CART drivers logged a total of 618 laps during the morning practice session.

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:30 p.m. to start the Group One provisional qualifying session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 88 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 79 degrees F. at the start of the qualifying session.

RED FLAG waves at 2:34 p.m. after #7 RAHAL spins while exiting Turn 3 and stalls in the middle of the track. The car is undamaged and CART safety workers quickly get the car towed into the pit area.

At 2:35 p.m., five minutes into the session and under a course-wide Red Flag, the fastest driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 104.512 mph (59.281 seconds), followed by #18 BLUNDELL (103.835 mph; 59.668 seconds) and #5 DE FERRAN (103.495 mph; 59.864 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:37 p.m. to resume the session.

At 2:40 p.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 2:35 p.m. report. A light drizzle has started to fall across the race track at this point of the session.

At 2:45 p.m., 15 minutes and halfway through the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 2:40 p.m. report.

Also at 2:45 p.m., #26X TRACY enters the run-off at Turn 1 and continues on course to his pit area.

At 2:46 p.m., #1 ZANARDI logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 105.210 mph (58.888 seconds).

At 2:49 p.m., #6 ANDRETTI clocks a second-best speed of 105.007 mph (59.002 seconds).

At 2:50 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #1 ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 105.210 mph (58.888 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (105.007 mph; 59.002 seconds) and #27 FRANCHITTI (104.512 mph; 59.281 seconds).

At 2:55 p.m., 25 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds are unchanged from the 2:50 p.m. report.

At 2:58 p.m., #5 DE FERRAN records the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 105.256 mph (58.862 seconds).

Also at 2:58 p.m., #18 BLUNDELL slides into the Turn 3 run-off. After a brief period, BLUNDELL returns to the track and heads to his pit area.

At 2:59 p.m., #1 ZANARDI again claims the top spot with a speed of 105.480 mph (58.737 seconds).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 3 p.m. with #1 ZANARDI the fastest Group One driver with a speed of 105.480 mph (58.737 seconds), followed by #5 DE FERRAN (105.256 mph; 58.862 seconds) and #6 ANDRETTI (105.007 mph; 59.002 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 3:15 p.m. to start the Group Two session.

At 3:20 p.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest Group Two driver is #10 HEARN with a lap of 103.671 mph (59.762 seconds; ninth overall), followed by #21 KANAAN (102.632 mph; 1:00.367; 13th-overall) and #3 RIBEIRO (102.627 mph; 1:00.370; 14th-fastest overall).

At 3:21 p.m., #19 JOURDAIN JR. brushes the wall at Turn 11 and continues on course.

At 3:22 p.m., #34 SALLES brushes the wall at Turn 1 and continues on course.

Also at 3:22 p.m., #77 MEIER brushes the wall between Turn 1 and 2 and continues on course.

At 3:25 p.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest Group Two drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 3:20 p.m. report.

At 3:26 p.m., #10 HEARN ups his Group Two-best speed to 103.955 mph (59.599 seconds; sixth-overall.)

At 3:30 p.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest Group Two driver is still #10 HEARN with his earlier lap of 103.955 mph (59.599 seconds; sixth-overall), followed by #21 KANAAN (102. 632 mph; 1:00.367; 13th-overall) and #3 RIBEIRO (102.627 mph; 1:00.370; 14th-fastest overall).

At 3:35 p.m., 20 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest driver is still #10 HEARN with his earlier lap of 103.955 mph (59.599 seconds; sixth-overall), followed by #21 KANAAN (103.205 mph; 1:00.032; 12th-overall) and #3 RIBEIRO (102.627 mph; 1:00.370; 14th-fastest overall).

At 3:36 p.m., #36 JONES contacts the tire barrier at Turn 6 and damages the left rear tire. JONES slowly makes his way back to his pit area with the left rear tire off the rim.

At 3:38 p.m., #21 KANAAN logs the fastest lap of the Group Two drivers with a lap of 104.428 mph (59.329 seconds; fifth-overall).

RED FLAG waves at 3:39 p.m. after #24 GORDON makes contact with the outside wall at Turn 8. Although the driver is uninjured in the incident, the car sustains major damage to the left side.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 3:41 p.m. after CART Race Control determines that the clean-up effort from the GORDON incident would require more time than was left in the Group Two qualifying session. The fastest driver of Group Two remains #21 KANAAN with a lap of 104.428 mph (59.329 seconds; fifth-overall), followed by #10 HEARN (103.955 mph; 59.599 seconds; seventh-overall) and #33 CARPENTIER (103.112; 1:00.086; 14th-overall).

ALEX ZANARDI grabs the provisional pole for Sunday's Molson Indy with his lap of 103.153 mph (1:00.062). ZANARDI is chasing his first pole of the 1998 season. ZANARDI's season-best start is a second at Detroit. ZANARDI's best start here at Toronto was a second on the grid in 1996.

GIL DE FERRAN is second on the provisional grid with his lap of 105.256 mph (58.862 seconds). DE FERRAN is looking for his first front-row start of the 1998 season. DE FERRAN's best start of the 1998 season is a third at Motegi, Japan.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI is third on the provisional grid by virtue of his 105.007 mph (59.002 second) lap. ANDRETTI is chasing his second top-three start of the season. ANDRETTI's top start of the season is a third at Nazareth.

Fourth-fastest on the provisional grid is #27 FRANCHITTI (104.512 mph; 59.281 seconds), and fifth is held by #21 KANAAN (104.428 mph; 59.329 seconds). Secondary cars were utilized by #40X FERNANDEZ and #26X TRACY. CART drivers logged a total of 236 laps during today's provisional pole qualifying.

Quotes from today's top-three provisional qualifiers follow.

ALEX ZANARDI, Target Reynard Honda: "I didn't want to go out. I just went out to please Chip [Ganassi, team owner], and I found some grip that I was amazed was there. This circuit must be so unique that when it's high and dry, it doesn't grip and when it's cold and rainy, it does. I just hope it's sunny and dry tomorrow. I woke up this morning and looked at my watch - in America you are superstitious about Friday the 13th, but in Italy, it's Friday the 17th - I looked at my watch and I thought I was going to have a very bad day, but I got my first provisional pole of the season, so obviously I'm very happy."

GIL de FERRAN, Valvoline/Cummins Special Reynard Honda: "Goodyear is really helping us this weekend. Ever since we got on track this morning, we've been fairly quick. I was a little concerned about the slippery conditions. When Zanardi got a good lap in, we came in and put on a second set [of tires]. But I just got one lap in and that was it. We got some traffic and that was it. I didn't think we'd have been able to repeat that lap anyway, because we'd lost the tires."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford: "I'm very frustrated. Things got a little messed up because of the rain. I finally got a good one [lap] going and then Paul [Tracy] got in my way, and I think it cost us. I just have to hope the car gets better tomorrow. We were hoping, but [the tires] are always an unknown when you come to a place where you can't test. We were sort of optimistic that they would be good, now we just have to see how they hold up in the race. We're definitely in more of a competitive position [with the Goodyears. Hopefully, they will help us get a good starting position and maybe we can win a race for them. This is a great track, one of the better street circuits we run on."

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roger Clemens, who starts tonight against the New York Yankees, visited the Player's Forsythe Racing team during Friday'' practice session. Clemens gave Player's Forsythe drivers Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier personally autographed Blue Jays jerseys and received a Player's Forsythe jacket in return. Clemens also got an opportunity to take a pace-car ride with CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach. Clemens remarked after the ride, "I could use Wally when I running late to the ballpark."

Source: CART Online

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Patrick Carpentier