CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto Mercedes Saturday Notes

FedEx Championship Series Report Race: Molson Indy, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Date/Session: Saturday, July 17, 1999 Final Qualifying Moore, Mercedes Qualify 10th at Toronto ...

FedEx Championship Series Report

Race:                Molson Indy, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date/Session:        Saturday, July 17, 1999                Final Qualifying

Moore, Mercedes Qualify 10th at Toronto Canadian driver Greg Moore qualified his Player's/Forsythe Mercedes 10th-quickest for Sunday's Molson Indy, round 11 of the CART FedEx Championship Series. Moore lapped Toronto's 1.721-mile temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place in 58.404 seconds (108.178 mph), 1.261 seconds behind polesitter Gil de Ferran. Moore is currently sixth in the tightly-bunched driver's championship point standings. Teammate and fellow native son Patrick Carpentier qualified on the sixth row with a lap in 58.480 seconds (108.037 mph). Hogan Racing Mercedes pilot Helio Castro-Neves, fastest of the 27 competitors in the morning practice sessions, will start 14th after lapping the circuit in 58.534 seconds (107.937 mph).

The PacWest Hollywood Mercedes team improved the balance on Mauricio Gugelmin's Champ Car, but the Brazilian pilot encountered heavy traffic on his hot lap, and will start in the eighth row (58.729 seconds/107.579 mph). Gasps from the crowd turned to cheers and applause when Roberto Moreno spun his PacWest Motorola Mercedes on the front straight, then made an expert recovery to avoid contact. Moreno will start 17th (58.745 seconds/107.550 mph) as he continues his "Super Sub" duties until Mark Blundell can return to the Motorola Mercedes cockpit.

Marlboro Team Penske Mercedes driver Al Unser Jr. will take Sunday's green flag from 25th position on the grid (59.845 seconds/105.573 mph), while rookie Shigeaki Hattori will start from the 14th row in his Epson Bettenhausen Mercedes (61.310 seconds/103.050 mph).

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (10th/58.404 seconds) "We got our quickest time on the first set of tires dead clear, then we switched tires and everyone else was trying to get their quick lap at the same time. We're still in the top 10. We're not where we want to be, but tonight we'll think about our strategies, and decide whether we'll do it with three quick stops or two long stops. I think we still have a shot at finishing at the top. There may be a lot of action on the start, so we'll have to make sure we stay clean. "We improved a little, but to go the speed that the guys up front are going * we've got some more work to do."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (12th/58.480 seconds) "I thought I had a great car, and I was flat out. I thought the car was very good. We made a change on the second set of tires, and it was good for a lap, but on the second lap, the car was sliding."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 9, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (14th/58.534 seconds) "We didn't make any major changes since the morning. The car stayed on the same pace. We will just wait and see how the car handles in the morning. I am sure it will be okay."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, PacWest Hollywood Mercedes/Firestone (16th/ 58.729 seconds) "We improved a lot this morning by working on the front end. We reduced the understeer I had heading into the concrete in the corners, and we made a few small changes for qualifying. The track is a bit slimy * you have to be careful not to run on the high line because it's very slippery out there. "The whole deal this afternoon was traffic. At a place like this, getting a good lap is just a matter of luck. It seemed that every corner had a moving chicane. I was four tenths of a second faster on one lap before I was held up by a slower car. You have to go wide to pass people, which messes up your lap, and makes your tires dirty at the same time."

Roberto Moreno, No. 18, PacWest Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (17th/58.745 seconds) "The changes we made this morning actually sent us backwards, so we went back to the way we had the car yesterday. Unfortunately, we couldn't pick up any speed. The track is good, but we're not getting the best out of the car at the moment. "On my first set of tires, I ran into traffic. I must say that I made mistakes in a couple of areas that led to my spin, which destroyed my second set of tires."

Shigeaki Hattori, No. 16, Epson Bettenhausen Motorsports Mercedes/Goodyear (27th/61.310 seconds) "We are still struggling to get grip on the concrete sections of the track. But the car is much better today, and I'm comfortable and looking forward to tomorrow's race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Shigeaki Hattori , Gil de Ferran , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Mauricio Gugelmin , Greg Moore
Teams Team Penske