IPS: Watkins Glen: Saturday practice, qualifying notes

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Saturday, June 3, 2006 -- Indy Pro Series qualifying for the Corning 100 was reduced to one 45-minute session (Bobby Wilson will start on the pole), and the IndyCar Series had 75 minutes of practice time (Vision Racing's Tomas...

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Saturday, June 3, 2006 -- Indy Pro Series qualifying for the Corning 100 was reduced to one 45-minute session (Bobby Wilson will start on the pole), and the IndyCar Series had 75 minutes of practice time (Vision Racing's Tomas Scheckter topped the chart with a quick lap of 1 minute, 38.7505 seconds) on a rain-slicked surface.


The crew of the No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing Indy Pro Series entry finished repairs to the car at 1 a.m. today. The car sustained heavy damage in a practice crash Friday afternoon.


Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s No. 25 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Indy Pro Series car made contact with a bird during practice yesterday. Following the session, team members removed a bird from the air intake.


Driver Scott Mansell is working with Indy Pro Series driver CR Crews this weekend. Mansell made one Indy Pro Series start last season, finishing 10th at Infineon. He also participated at Watkins Glen, but did not start the race after a crash in the final practice.

SCOTT MANSELL: "CR and I are hitting it off real well. I wanted to start working with him this weekend already because he and I will be teammates at the rest of the road-course races this season."



* This is first career SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award of Bobby Wilson's Indy Pro Series career. His previous best start was second at Infineon Raceway in August 2005.

* This is the second pole position for Kenn Hardley Racing. The team's last pole position was with Jeff Simmons at Pikes Peak in 2004.

* Rookie Alex Lloyd will start second, matching his career-best start. He also qualified on the front row at St. Petersburg, earlier this season.


BOBBY WILSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award winner): "Hats off to the team. They did a great job. We made a bunch of changes throughout the session. We had to sit there and adapt to the track and change the car to make it work. I'd really like to thank my sponsor, Ocala Gran Prix, for allowing me this opportunity to race. I was really digging this. I kind of miss the one-lap qualifying, because I'm used to that style. But, we put it all together on the last lap. We just wanted to get out early in the session and get a good baseline, see where everything was at. Came in and made some pretty good changes, and the Kenn Hardley Racing team was on the money, so I'm happy."

ALEX LLOYD (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, qualified second): "I'm happy to be on the front row. I'm disappointed not to be on the pole, because we were comfortably quickest yesterday in the dry conditions. This session was a little bit of a lottery. It was just whoever got the best lap there at the end. I got a decent lap in, but we probably didn't put the setup in right for these conditions. I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat."

PHIL GIEBLER (No. 42 Kenn Hardley Racing, qualified third): "It was ever changing. The track was pretty good at first and then it got pretty slick out there. It got a little bit more wet. I was really just chasing the track and trying to find a balance with the car because the car did not want to turn at all. It just wanted to go straight. I did go straight off the track at the "Toe" of the "Boot". I got back on the track and got it out of a rut and got it up there to P3. That was not too bad. I got held up on my fastest lap which kind of hurt me. I think I had to pass two cars on my last lap there. I'm just looking forward to the race now.

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, qualified fourth): "We sat on the pole there after the first yellow. Really, I just abused the front tires because the track was drying; it was quite dry at the beginning of the session. Then it sprinkled again, and we went out before the second yellow, and my tires were just gone, so I couldn't really do much. So I came in and waited. I came in just before the second full-course yellow. The tires had a chance to cool down. We had that one lap shoot out at the end, and it was tough. There were a couple cars out front battling through traffic. I was struggling with the front tires that I burned up right at the start of the session. Fourth isn't too bad. That's near the front. We know we've got good pace. We're as quick as everyone else. We'll just have to see what happens in the race. The track is pretty predictable. You just have to watch for the concrete patches."

JAIME CAMARA (No. 11 CELG, qualified fifth): "It's not bad, but I was expecting a little bit more. We have to do some work on our rain setup because we could help the problem, but we could not solve it. It's OK, we are going to set the car up for the race tomorrow. The track is slick, really slick. It's good, but it's slick. I expected the track to be worse than it was but it's quite good. Turn seven and nine were probably the slickest."

JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified ninth): "I ran off. Nothing else to say. I'm just going to have to make up for it tomorrow."


The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Tissot at 3:30 p.m. on June 4 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be carried live by ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Corning 100 at 12:30 p.m. on June 4 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. on June 8.


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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Sam Schmidt , Jeff Simmons , Alex Lloyd , Bobby Wilson , Scott Mansell , Arie Luyendyk Jr.