CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver Friday Track Notes

MOLSON INDY VANCOUVER- Spetember 4, 1999 - Good Morning from the prettiest city in North America, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for the first day of practice and qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Vancouver! Today's weather has opened the...

MOLSON INDY VANCOUVER- Spetember 4, 1999 - Good Morning from the prettiest city in North America, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for the first day of practice and qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Vancouver! Today's weather has opened the weekend with crisp blue skies, light cool breezes, and plenty of warm sunshine spilling across the 1.781-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit. Temperatures are predicted to reach the low 70's, with sun all day. The weekend's first practice session is scheduled for the Green Flag at 10:30 a.m. This full-field session will last 90 minutes. At 2:30 p.m., the FedEx Championship Series teams will again take to the track for the split-group provisional qualifying session with the fastest drivers from the FedEx Championship Series previous road-course venue's qualifying sessions (Mid-Ohio) making up Group One. Each split-session provisional qualifying Group will be on-track for 30 minutes with a 15-minute break between the two groups' efforts. Saturday's schedule has the Champ Cars again on-track for practice from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. with the final round of qualifying scheduled from 12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. This final qualifying session will again be in the split-group format with the fastest drivers from Friday's provisional qualifying comprising Group Two. Again, each group will be on-track for 30 minutes with a 15- minute break between the two Groups. Sunday's schedule has the traditional 30-minute warm-up beginning at 9:00 a.m. followed by the Green Flag for the 90-lap, 160.029 mile-Molson Indy Vancouver 1 p.m. (All times are local.)

· This weekend's official CART entry list again features quite a few changes. Veteran pilot ROBERTO MORENO will again drive in the place of the recuperating CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI. Another welcome is in order as NAOKI HATTORI returns to the CART FedEx Championship Series to compete in this weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver in the Alpine-sponsored #15 Walker Racing Honda Reynard. #21 LUIZ GARCIA also returns to the FedEx Championship Series in the Tang-sponsored Hogan Motor Leasing Mercedes Lola. ANDREA MONTERMINI takes over the driving chores in the #36 All-American Racers Denso/Castrol-sponsored Toyota Eagle. Finally, #71 MEMO GIDLEY returns as well in the Payton-Coyne Ford Lola.

· GREEN FLAG waves at 10:30 a.m. to start the first practice session of the weekend. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 88 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 72 degrees F. at the start of the session.

· BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:36 a.m. to #71 GIDLEY for a Pit road speed violation. GIDLEY subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

· At 10:37 a.m., #26 TRACY slides into the run-off at Turn 4 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 10:40 a.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #4 MONTOYA with a lap of 96.305 mph (1:06.576), followed by #99 MOORE (95.405 mph; 1:07.204) and #7 PAPIS (94.444 mph; 1:07.204).

· At 10:41 a.m., CART course observers report that the car of #21 GARCIA Jr. is showing smoke at the rear of the car at speed. GARCIA Jr. subsequently pits the car.

· At 10:50 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #44 KANAAN with a lap of 100.037 mph (1:04.092), followed by #33 CARPENTIER (99.742 mph; 1:04.282) and #27 FRANCHITTI (99.718 mph; 1:04.297).

· RED FLAG waves at 10:59 a.m. after #33 CARPENTIER slides into the tire barrier at the outside of Turn 1 just after turning the second-fastest lap of the session at 101.461 mph (1:03.193). The car makes contact against the tire barrier with the left front suspension and sustains some damage. The driver is uninjured in the incident and CART safety workers quickly hook the car up and tow it to the pits, where the car is readying the secondary car for use in the session.

· At 11 a.m., 30 minutes into the session and under the Red Flag, the fastest drivers and speed are unchanged from the 10:50 a.m. report.

· GREEN FLAG waves at 11:09 a.m. to resume the practice session.

· At 11:10 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #17 GUGELMIN with a lap of 101.669 mph (1:03.045), followed by #33 CARPENTIER (101.461 mph; 1:03.193) and #4 MONTOYA (100.946 mph; 1:03.515).

· RED FLAG waves at 11:19 a.m. for a track inspection after several cars report cut tires after examination in the pits. The culprit is a spike that had held a cone that was dislodged by a car at Pit Out. CART safety workers quickly attend to the problem.

· At 11:20 a.m., 50 minutes into the session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is now #26 TRACY with a lap of 102.065 mph (1:02.819), followed by #7 PAPIS (101.873 mph; 1:02.937) and #18 BLUNDELL (101.729 mph; 1:03.026).

· GREEN FLAG waves at 11:26 a.m. to resume the session.

· At 11:29 a.m., #9 CASTRO-NEVES pulls off course at Turn 6 and stalls the car with an engine problem. As the car is clear of the track, the Green Flag stays out as CASTRO-NEVES walks back to the Pit Area.

· At 11:30 a.m., one hour into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 11:20 a.m. report.

· At 11:33 a.m., #33 CARPENTIER clocks the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 102.360 mph (1:02.638) on his 13th lap of the session.

· At 11:34 a.m., #26 TRACY again takes over the top spot with a lap of 103.197 mph (1:02.130) on his 17th lap.

· At 11:39 a.m., #20 MAGNUSSEN brushes the wall at Turn 9 but continues on course to his Pit Area.

· At 11:40 a.m., 70 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #26 TRACY with his earlier lap of 103.197 mph (1:02.130), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (102.679 mph; 1:02.443) and #44 KANAAN (102.360 mph; 1:02.638).

· At 11:41 a.m., #19 JOURDAIN Jr. pulls into his Pit Area with fluid showing below and at the rear of the car.

· At 11:47 a.m., #33X CARPENTIER brushes the wall with the right rear tire at Turn 3 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 11:48 a.m., #26 TRACY slides into the run-off at Turn 6 but keeps the car running and continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 11:49 a.m., #22 GORDON slides into the run-off at Turn 6 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 11:50 a.m., #26 TRACY and #27 FRANCHITTI are still one-two with their earlier laps, followed by #44 KANAAN with a faster lap of 102.651 mph (1:02.460).

· RED FLAG also waves at 11:50 a.m. after #36 MONTERMINI spins at Turn 6 and stalls with the car in the groove. MONTERMINI gets the car restarted and continues to his Pit Area.

· GREEN FLAG waves at 11:52 a.m. to resume the practice session.

· RED FLAG waves at 11:56 a.m. after #4 MONTOYA loses power on the backstraight and makes contact with the left rear tire against the wall as he slowed down with smoke appearing at the rear of the car.

· CHECKERED FLAG waves at 11:57 a.m. after CART Race Control decides that there will not be enough time to clear the track before the scheduled end of the session. #26 TRACY ends the session fastest with his earlier lap of 103.197 mph (1:02.130), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (102.679 mph; 1:02.443) and #44 KANAAN (102.651 mph; 1:02.460). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced a total of 36 cars to the track this morning with secondary cars utilized by #4X MONTOYA, #33X CARPENTIER, #11X MORENO, #12X VASSER, #9X CASTRO-NEVES, #25X da MATTA, #20X MAGNUSSEN, #5X de FERRAN, and #10X HEARN. CART drivers logged a total of 550 laps during the session.

· #33 CARPENTIER will use his primary car that was involved in a morning incident in Turn 1. The Players-sponsored Mercedes Reynard had the left front suspension rapidly repaired by the crew during the lunch period. Also, #19X will be piloted by MEMO GIDLEY in the Group One qualifying instead of the #71 car that GIDLEY drove in the morning session. The car will still appear on the Omega timing and scoring monitors as #71.

· GREEN FLAG waves at 2:31 p.m. to start the Group One Provisional Qualifying session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 110 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 79 degrees F. at the start of the Group One session.

· At 2:36 p.m., the fastest Group One driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 103.132 mph (1:02.169), followed by #8 HERTA (102.627 mph; 1:02.475) and #44 KANAAN (101.948 mph; 1:02.891).

· At 2:39 p.m., #26 TRACY brushes the wall at Turn 5 but continues on course to his Pit Area without apparent damage to the car.

· At 2:40 p.m., #44 KANAAN slides into the run-off at Turn 1 but gets the car righted and continues on course to his Pit Area without apparent damage to the car.

· At 2:41 p.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 103.132 (1:02.169), followed by #8 HERTA (102.627 mph; 1:02.475) and #7 PAPIS (102.417 mph; 1:02.603).

· At 2:45 p.m., #8 HERTA slides into the run-off at Turn 6 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 2:46 p.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 103.637 mph (1:01.866), followed by #8 HERTA (102.627 mph; 1:02.475) and #7 PAPIS (102.417 mph; 1:02.603).

· At 2:48 p.m., #10 HEARN runs off course at Turn 4 but gets the car back on track and continues without apparent damage to the car.

· At 2:49 p.m., #4 MONTOYA slides into the run-off at Turn 6 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 2:51 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #27 FRANCHITTI with his earlier lap of 103.637 mph (1:01.866), followed by #26 TRACY (103.425 mph; 1:01.993) and #4X MONTOYA (103.122 mph; 1:02.175).

· At 2:56 p.m., 25 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #5 de FERRAN with a lap of 103.867 mph (1:01.729), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI with his earlier lap of 103.637 mph (1:01.866) and #26 TRACY (103.425 mph; 1:01.933).

· RED FLAG waves at 3:33 p.m. after #25 da MATTA spins at Turn 1 and stalls the car in the groove. CART safety workers can't get the car refired and therefore they tow the car back to the garage area. Da MATTA will receive an eight-minute penalty for delaying the qualifying session.

· At 3:35 p.m., 20 minutes into the Group Two session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is still #17 GUGELMIN with a speed of 103.286 mph (1:02.076; sixth-fastest overall), followed by #99 MOORE (103.162 mph; 1:02.151; seventh-fastest overall) and #18 BLUNDELL (102.941 mph; 1:02.284; 10th-fastest overall).

· GREEN FLAG waves at 3:36 p.m. to resume the Group Two qualifying session. #33X CARPENTIER enters the session in his secondary car.

· At 3:40 p.m., #99 MOORE jumps to third-fastest overall and fastest in Group Two with a lap of 103.889 mph (1:01.716). Seconds later, #11 MORENO logs the third-fastest overall speed and the new fastest Group Two driver with a lap of 103.977 mph (1:01.652), followed by #99 MOORE (103.899 mph; 1:01.716; fourth-fastest overall) and #18 BLUNDELL (103.578 mph; 1:01.901).

· At 3:44 p.m., #33X CARPENTIER brushes the wall at Turn 3 and immediately slows down and heads for his Pit Area, apparently done for the qualifying session.

· CHECKERED FLAG waves at 3:45 p.m. to end the Group Two provisional qualifying session with #11 MORENO the fastest Group Two driver with a speed of 103.997 mph (1:01.652; third-fastest overall), followed by #99 MOORE (103.899 mph; 1:01.716; fourth-fastest overall) and #18 BLUDNELL (103.578 mph; 1:01.901; seventh-fastest overall.)

· DARIO FRANCHITTI sits on the Provisional Pole with his lap of 104.520 mph (1:01.343). FRANCHITTI will be trying to win his second pole of the season in tomorrow's qualifying. This feat would also give FRANCHITTI his ninth start among the top four this year.

· PAUL TRACY sits second on the Provisional Grid with a lap of 104.012 mph (1:01.643). TRACY has started second twice this year, but has not won a pole since 1997.

· ROBERTO MORENO is third after today's session with a speed of 103.997 mph (1:01.652). MORENO is after his season-best start. MORENO has started fifth at Cleveland and Detroit this year. MORENO improved from a 25th-best time in this morning's session.

· FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 27 different cars to the track in today's provisional qualifying with secondary cars utilized by #4X MONTOYA, #33X CARPENTIER, and #71X GIDLEY. CART drivers logged a total of 337 laps in the Provisional Qualifying session.

· Quotes from today's top three provisional qualifiers follow:

· DARIO FRANCHITTI, KOOL Honda Reynard: "I was just trying to get used to the track this morning. It was a bit of trouble to get a clean lap during qualifying. After we went out on the first set of tires, I was debating whether to put a new set on, or whether to save them for the race. I said "Aw, let's try it," and went out and did one flying lap and came in and that was it."

· PAUL TRACY, KOOL Honda Reynard: "The car was working really well this morning, then we made some changes that I thought were going to be good, but for whatever reason, the track changed in the afternoon. It seemed much slicker. I couldn't get a clean lap on my first set of tires, and on the second set, I braked a little too early going into the chicane, so I know where I lost the time. All in all, I'm pretty happy. We're just hoping to make up some time tomorrow and catch this guy [pointing to teammate Dario Franchitti]."

· ROBERTO MORENO, Big Kmart Ford Swift: "It took a little while to get used to the track. Our car was not fantastic this morning, but I had a feeling we could be better if we went to our old street course setup, and my engineer agreed straightaway. We got used to the track and the time was there. I think we can be even better tomorrow."

· Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) failed to pass the post-qualifying inspection because his car did not meet the minimum 2-inch rule requirement. Two inches is the minimum height that the lowest aerodynamic component must be in regard to the chassis reference plane. Tracy forfeits his provisional qualifying time - which ranked second - but will be able to qualify in Saturday's final pole qualifying. Tracy will qualify in the slow group - which is first out Saturday - since he no longer is credited with a time.

· This concludes the Pit Notes for today from Vancouver, B.C.

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti