CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Team Kool Green Saturday qualifying report

Tracy earns front row start in Toronto. TORONTO, Ont. - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy gave his hometown crowd even more to cheer about after he guaranteed himself a front row starting position for tomorrow's Molson Indy race on the ...

Tracy earns front row start in Toronto.

TORONTO, Ont. - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy gave his hometown crowd even more to cheer about after he guaranteed himself a front row starting position for tomorrow's Molson Indy race on the downtown streets of Toronto. Tracy posted the second quickest lap of the day in Saturday's final qualifying session for Round 8 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship and will line up beside polesitter Cristiano da Matta when the green flag waves. The Toronto native posted a best lap of 58.172 seconds (108.609 mph) on his second to last trip around the track and jumped to the top of the scoring sheet, but was dropped down to second when da Matta bettered the Team KOOL Green driver's time. Tracy's teammate Dario Franchitti will start sixth after posting a fast lap of 58.488 seconds (108.022 mph).

Tracy's performance earned Team KOOL Green its second consecutive front row start. Last weekend Dario Franchitti earned his eleventh career Champ Car pole position by posting the quickest lap on the 1.029-mile Chicago Motor Speedway oval.

Da Matta earned his second championship point of the weekend after recording a best lap of 58.135 seconds (108.678 mph). Bruno Junqueira will start third with a lap of 58.256 seconds (108.452 mph).

Tomorrow's CART FedEx Champ Car schedule starts off with warm up 9:30 a.m. EDT and will be followed by the race at 1:30 p.m. CBS will broadcast the race live beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"Team KOOL Green did a great job. I made a little mistake starting my quick lap and I thought I had hurt the tires, but I regrouped and just tried to put in a good lap. I was quicker on the lap that I went off on, but we'll take this one for our starting position. The team is doing a great job this weekend and you can feel the momentum building. Our main focus is to leave Toronto with as many points as possible and I hope to use the crowd to my advantage. This is our first race on a street course with the Lola and I'm getting more confident with the car. We didn't start out so well with it (on the road course) at Laguna Seca but the team has made improvements every race and I'm more comfortable with the car. It feels really great to start on the front row, I'm looking forward to it. I pounded my fist on the steering wheel when I heard da Matta (Cristiano) won the pole because it would have been really nice to have earned it, but I'm happy to take the front row."

Barry Green - Team Owner

"Paul did an awesome job and put together an awesome lap. He's been focused all weekend and all of Team KOOL Green has worked well together all weekend. We've been giving a little bit away (to da Matta) but can say we are definitely knocking on the door. For Paul to put together a lap like that in his hometown of Toronto, is thrilling. I would say that Paul Tracy is starting in a very dangerous position for every other competitor on the race track."

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"The first run with the car was good, then we made a very slight change and on the second run we didn't get the best out of it. It's pretty much the same story as yesterday. It's a bit frustrating; I thought we would be able to qualify better than we did. It's not the end of the world, but I have would have liked to have Team KOOL Green start further up."

Allen McDonald, Race Engineer:

"It's a little bit disappointing. We made a slight change to the car and obviously it wasn't quite right because we weren't able to improve on our second run. We'll be making a few changes in the direction that we made for qualifying. Obviously Paul has a very good set up and we should be able to learn from that as well. It's a long race tomorrow and I think we'll have a pretty decent car for it."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Barry Green , Cristiano da Matta