CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver Friday Qualifying Report

Molson Indy Vancouver September 3, 1999 Friday Qualifying Report by Alan Perry, motorsport.com Champ car qualifying is done is two groups. The grouping on Friday is based on final qualifying from the last road course (Mid-Ohio). The drivers...

Molson Indy Vancouver September 3, 1999

Friday Qualifying Report by Alan Perry, motorsport.com

Champ car qualifying is done is two groups. The grouping on Friday is based on final qualifying from the last road course (Mid-Ohio). The drivers in Group 1 (the faster drivers from Mid-Ohio qualifying) are Montoya, de ferran, Andretti, Papis, Herta, Castro-Neves, Hearn, Vasser, Gordon, Tracy, Franchitti, Kanaan and Gidley. The drivers in Group 2 are Unser, Moreno, Hattori, Gugelmin, Blundell, Jourdain, Magnussen, Garcia, Pruett, da Matta, Carpentier, Montermini, Jones and Moore. Each session is thirty minutes long and the times are aggregated. And then the whole thing happens again tomorrow, based on today's times.

The conditions were the same as this morning, except a little warmer. Clear skies, rain very unlikely.

Group 1

Castro-Neves and Montoya went out in their spare car.

With 20 minutes to go, the order was Franchitti (1:02.189), Herta (1:02.475), Papis (1:02.603), Montoya (1:02.724), Kanaan (1:02.794), de Ferran (1:102.809), Tracy (1:02.831) and Andretti (1:03.229), followed by Castro-Neves, Vasser, Gordon and Hearn.

de Ferran was clearly doing much better than in this morning's practice, where he was near the bottom of the board in both the primary car and the spare. Montoya put in a fast lap, got up to third, and immediately followed it by a visit to a run-off area at the end of the long straight.

With 10 minutes to go, the order was Franchitti, Tracy, Montoya, Kanaan, Herta, Papis, Andretti, de Ferran, Hearn, Vasser, Castro-Neves, Gordon, Gidley. Frachitti and Tracy were in the 1:01s and most everyone else was in the 1:02s and the 1:03s. The exceptions were gidley and castro-neves, who were both more than a second back from the rest.

In the last five minutes, de Ferran took the pole with a 1:01.729, but Franchitti met the challenge with a 1:01.343. Montoya goes out on a flyer and nearly makes contact with the wall coming into the last sequence of turns, but only managed third. The last movement at the top of the board was Tracy, who put in a time good for second position and pushed Montoya out of the top three.

At the end of the first group's session, the order was Franchitti, Tracy, de Ferran, Montoya, Herta, Kanaan, Andretti, Papis, Vasser, Hearn, Gordon, Castro-Neves and Gidley.

While de Ferran and Montoya challenged on occasion, the session was dominated by Team Green. These four drivers were the only one to put in times in the 1:01s.

Group 2

Carpentier crushed his primary car in the morning practice and went out in the spare car.

Moore was the first driver to beat a Group 1 time, knocking gidley down, then Blundell, Pruett, Moreno and Gugelmin knocked down even more drivers. The PacWest drivers were the first drivers of the second group to get into the 1:02s.

Before the home crowd, Moore started putting in faster and faster times, eventually scoring sixth in one set of runs, eventually finishing the session 4th overall.

With 20 minutes to go, the order was Gugelmin (6th overall), Moore (7th), Moreno (11th), Jones (13th), Blundell (14th), da Matta (17th), Pruett (18th), Magnussen (20th), Unser (21st), Jourdain (22nd), Hattori (23rd), Montermini (24th), Garcia (26th), Carpentier (27th).

da Matta spun the car going into turn one, but, unlike Carpentier in the morning practice, da Matta ended up pointing the wrong way down the track and he avoided the tire wall. The session was red flagged.

With 10 minutes to go, under a red flag, the order was Gugelmin (6th overall), Moore (7th), Blundell (10th), Moreno (12th), Jones (14th), da Matta (16th), Jourdain (18th), Carpentier (19th), Pruett (20th), Unser (22th), Magnussen (23rd), Hattori (24th), Montermini (25th) and Garcia (27th).

The session went back to green with around eight minutes remaining. With just a tick under five minutes to go, Moore put in a time good for 3rd, but it didn't last long. Moreno put in a time good enough to knock Moore back down to 4th. Blundell, Gugelmin and Jones improved to 7th, 8th and 9th overall. They all all stayed out to try to improve their times, but only Gugelmin succeeded. He didn't improve his position however.

At the end, the order of the second group was Moreno (3rd overall), Moore (4th), Blundell (7th), Gugelmin (8th), Jones (9th), Carpentier (16th), Hattori (17th), da Matta (18th), Jourdain (19th), Pruett (20th), Unser (22nd), Montermini (23rd), Magnussen (24th), Gidley (26th) and Garcia (27th).

Tracy's qualifying time was disallowed after his car fail a post qualifying inspection. He was moved from second to last place in the standings.

The aggregate top ten are Franchitti, Moreno, Moore, de Ferran, Montoya, Blundell, Jones, Herta, and Kaanan.

The top three drivers all saw opportunities for improvement.

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