CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver Friday qualifying report

Molson Indy Vancouver Friday Qualifying Report Zanardi takes provisional pole; Lehto surprises The first qualifying group was dominated by Zanardi, Franchitti and de Ferran and ended in that order. Herta, Rahal, Kanaan, de Ferran, Pruett,...

Molson Indy Vancouver Friday Qualifying Report

Zanardi takes provisional pole; Lehto surprises

The first qualifying group was dominated by Zanardi, Franchitti and de Ferran and ended in that order.

Herta, Rahal, Kanaan, de Ferran, Pruett, Fittipaldi and Franchitti were the first cars out and their times were in the 1:10 to 1:14 range. Five minutes into the session, the order was Franchitti, Fittipaldi, Herta and Moore and the times were already down into the 1:06s. Then, Kanaan broke into the 1:05s, followed by P1 times from Moore, then deFerran, then Zanardi. Zanardi's time was 1:05.335 and it held for some time. Franchitti came close with a 1:05.430.

Ten minutes into the session, the order was Zanardi, Franchitti, de Ferran, Moore, Fittipaldi, Kanaan, Pruett, Rahal, Fernandez and Herta. By mid-session, the top-runners were doing times in the 1:05s, but not the drivers were not improving. Fittipaldi managed to get up to 4th and that was about it.

With 10 minutes to go, Moore started a series of fast runs, moving up to 4th, then 3rd with a 1:05.434. Fittipaldi tried to tried to put in a fast time, but locked up the brakes going into turn 8, ended up flat-spotting a tire and had to come in for a replacement. Zanardi went out and put in a 1:04.838 and broke the 100 mph average lap speed to improve his P1. Franchitti also improved his time. Then de Ferran put in a 1:05.010 for 3rd and Fittipaldi put in a 1:05.325 for 4th. The session ended with Kanaan putting his car into the wall after turn 10.

The second qualifying group was dominated by JJ Lehto, Mark Blundell and Mauricio Gugelmin, but in the end, Paul Tracy snuck in and beat them all with 1 minutes left in the session.

Moore, Papis, Blundell, Meier and Tracy were the first out. The group started off with laps in the 1:13s, but those times were coming down quickly. This all stopped when PJ Jones spun coming out of turn 3 and sat perpendicular to traffic for a while, preventing anyone from getting any fast times in. As started going again, he almost backed into Gugelmin. After this cleared up, the lap times started going down again.

About 10 minutes into the session, Lehto, Blundell, and Gugelmin started to take off. First, Lehto moved up to 14th overall, then Blundell got 12th, then Lehto got 8th, then Blundell got 7th, then Gugelmin got 9th and then Lehto got 6th. Their times were in the 1:05s by this point. They continued to swap fast time throughout the session with their order ending up Blundell, Gugelmin, Lehto. At the end of the session, Tracy, who had not done too well, put in a time of 1:05.514 and beat everyone else in the second group.

At the other end of the second group was PJ Jones and Dennis Vitolo, who remained there at the end of the session.

Arnd Meier had the fastest trap speed at the start/finish line.

Driver quotes

Michael Andretti: "The track definitely suits Christian's driving style more than mine." "The joke was that it was the great sushi here that helped me run well here. I had sushi last night. Maybe I need to have a little more tonight and see if it helps us in final qualifying."

Adrian Fernandez: "We still haven't found the right balance for this track."

Christian Fittipaldi: "The car is good. There is a bit more understeer in the car this afternoon than there was this morning and it was not exactly to my liking..."

Mauricio Gugelmin: "We made a lot of changes over the break and improved the car a lot."

Richie Hearn: "There's a lot of potential for some good crashes during the race especially since a lot of the passing zones are in the fast corners."

Bryan Herta: "I think thetrack will be faster as more cars run over it and it gains added grip."

Michel Jourdain: "I couldn't get a clear qualifying lap with all the traffic and the car developed a big push."

Scott Pruett: "The set-up is not quite there."

Bobby Rahal: "I think the track will get better as the weekend goes on. It just needs some more rubber."

Paul Tracy: "We started the session with a front suspension problem. The toe bar was loose and it made the steering kind of screwy. That kind of upset the flow of the session."

Alex Zanardi: "The Firestone tires are good. Consistency is not even a concern. You can do a lot of donuts with them."

Friday Qualifying Results

Zanardi 104.838 Franchitti 104.958 de Ferran 1:05.010 Fittipaldi 1:05.325 Moore 1:05.434 Tracy 1:05.514 Blundell 1:05.637 Gugelmin 1:05.680 Lehto 1:05.686 Kanaan 1:05.707 Herta 1:05.746 Hearn 1:06.010 Fernandez 1:06.041 Andretti 1:06.049 Castro-Neves 1:06.068 Rahal 1:06.108 Pruett 1:06.127 Ribiero 1:06.239 Gordon 1:06.295 Vasser 1:06.295 Carpentier 1:06.616 Meier 1:06.702 Unser 1:07.052 Jourdain 1:07.064 Barron 1:07.093 Papis 1:07.111 Jones 1:07.904 Vitolo 1:09.896

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Bobby Rahal , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Alex Zanardi , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Scott Pruett , Mark Blundell , Richie Hearn , Michel Jourdain , JJ Lehto