Detroit: Panther Racing qualifying report

Disallowed Lap Puts Meira Into 14th Place Detroit Qualification Spot Delphi National Guard Team Looks to Continue Points Climb in Detroit GP Tomorrow DETROIT, Mich. (August 30, 2008) -- Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira adamantly disputed a ...

Disallowed Lap Puts Meira Into 14th Place Detroit Qualification Spot

Delphi National Guard Team Looks to Continue Points Climb in Detroit GP Tomorrow

DETROIT, Mich. (August 30, 2008) -- Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira adamantly disputed a decision by Indy Racing League officials to disallow his quickest lap during the first round of qualifications for Sunday's Detroit Grand Prix, when a full-course caution wiped away the Delphi National Guard driver's fastest lap of the session.

As a result, Vitor will start in the 14th position for tomorrow's race with a top qualification lap of 101.157 mph, 1:13.6678 seconds. He started 10th here last year and finished 15th after an accident in the first turn.

By rule, a driver cannot record his or her fastest lap during qualifications on a lap where a full-course caution is called. Despite the fact the accident involving Bruno Junqueira was behind Meira's No. 4 car at the time of the caution, and he was exiting the final turn approaching the timeline, his lap was taken off the scoreboard. He would have finished fifth in the first session and advanced to the second round, but instead was bumped out of the first round on the last lap by Justin Wilson.

Meira has had no trouble this season starting in the middle of the pack and moving his way to the front: Last weekend at Sonoma he started 18th and finished seventh; he qualified 15th and came home sixth at Nashville; and rolled off 15th and finished sixth at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July.

The IndyCar Series will travel to Detroit for the second Detroit Indy Grand Prix, which is held at the Raceway at Belle Isle. The race will be broadcast live Sunday on ABC at 3:30 p.m. (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio channels 144 and 145.

Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard Honda Dallara:

"This was not how it was explained to me in the drivers' meeting. We should have advanced and run the Delphi National Guard car in the second session. Even if we shouldn't be there, we've qualified this far back before and run at the front of the field, and that's what we'll try to do tomorrow."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing