TORONTO, ON (July 15, 2000) â€“ Fighting for his third pole in four visits to the Molson Indy, Dario Franchitti was on a flying lap when he went off course into a tire barrier in Turn 8 on the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit. Fortunately, he...
TORONTO, ON (July 15, 2000) – Fighting for his third pole in four visits to the Molson Indy, Dario Franchitti was on a flying lap when he went off course into a tire barrier in Turn 8 on the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit. Fortunately, he had already turned a lap of 57.940 seconds for an average speed of 109.044 mph. Franchitti missed the final 17 minutes of qualifying, but his earlier lap was good enough for fifth on the grid. Paul Tracy, his Team KOOL Green teammate, will start 12th.
Helio Castroneves earned his third career Champ Car pole and second this season for Team Penske. The Brazilian driver clocked a lap of 57.200 seconds (110.445 mph), 0.057 seconds off the track record set by Gil de Ferran last year. Crisitiano da Matta managed a spot on the front row next to Castroneves with a time of 57.539 seconds (109.804 mph). Michael Andretti, a five-time winner of the Molson Indy, will start third after posting a lap of 57.666 seconds (109.562 mph). Juan Montoya will start fourth, one position better than Franchitti.
Tracy went into battle with his #26 KOOL Honda-Reynard in the first group this afternoon, turning the third fastest lap. Kenny Brack was fastest with a time of 57.984 seconds (108.961 mph), but gave up the provisional pole five minutes into the second session. Brack slid to seventh on the grid, while Tracy who was 0.385 seconds behind Brack fell to 12th. Tracy’s best lap was a time of 58.369 seconds (108.242 mph), which promotes him into the fast group of qualifiers at Mid-Ohio – the next road course on the schedule.
Tomorrow, the 25-car field returns to the track for a 30-minute warm-up at 10:00 a.m. with the green flag for the 112-lap race at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The race broadcast will be tape-delayed on ESPN at 3:00 p.m.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(12th with a lap-time of 58.369 seconds / 108.242 mph)
“The first couple of runs were okay. Then we made a few changes. I had a pretty good lap going and I brushed the wall on the outside of Turn 5 and bent the left rear suspension. That kind of ended our qualifying run. We put in a decent time and were starting 12th. It could have been a lot worse. I’m not going to kid you, I’d rather be starting on pole.
“With an extra 15 laps in the race though, there’s reason to be optimistic that we can move up. It’s a longer race, it’s going to be hot, it’s going to be muggy and there’s always the possibility of rain. A lot can happen in this race. Team KOOL Green has the best pit crew in the business, so I’m very confident that we will move up in a three-stop race. Besides, these are my streets and I’m a street fighter.”
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
(5th with a lap-time of 57.940 seconds / 109.044 mph)
“I basically went into the corner too quick. We made a good change to the KOOL car and I was going a lot quicker up to that point. Unfortunately, I went into Turn 8 a little too quickly. The car bottomed out and there was some understeer, but the fault is mine. I went in too fast and made a mistake. It’s unfortunate because we had a car that was good enough for pole. I think I was up as much as two or three tenths of a second on that lap. We’ll make the best of our starting position and look to move up through the field.”