MONTEREY, CALIF. (September 9, 2000) -- Following today's final qualifying session, Team KOOL Green's Jeff Simmons and Jonny Kane will start third and seventh respectively in Sunday's Indy Lights race at Laguna Seca. Simmons, who was fifth in ...
MONTEREY, CALIF. (September 9, 2000) -- Following today's final qualifying session, Team KOOL Green's Jeff Simmons and Jonny Kane will start third and seventh respectively in Sunday's Indy Lights race at Laguna Seca. Simmons, who was fifth in Friday's provisional qualifying session, improved to third with a lap of 1 minute, 16.954 seconds (104.696 mph), while Kane's best lap was a 1 minute,16.118 seconds (105.846 mph). Kane struggled with an ill-handling car all weekend and set a best lap today of 1:16.606 (105.172 mph).
Casey Mears, who earned the provisional pole on Friday, held onto the top spot today with a fast lap of 1:15.891 (106.163 mph). Second on the grid is current points leader Scott Dixon, whose best lap today was 1:15.949 (106.082 mph).
Indy Lights drivers have a 15-minute warm-up session Sunday morning at 8:25 a.m., before taking the green flag for their 34-lap race at 3:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on ESPN2 (All times are Pacific Daylight Time).
JEFF SIMMONS, #26 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (3rd with a lap time of 1:16.118 seconds at 105.846 mph)
"The KOOL car wasn't bad on the first set of tires. But I'd spun on them yesterday and that hurt them a little bit, so we were a couple tenths off the pole time on that first run. We made a small change and I decided to go to new tires at the same time because I wanted to see how the car was going to be on the new tires and then make another small change if we needed to. The car was pretty good and we were on pole for maybe ten seconds before somebody reset it. Then the car was starting to get some more oversteer so I slowed down to cool the tires, then went for another hot lap and tied my best time. I changed tires to make a final run but I still had oversteer in some corners and I was careful there, so I gave up a bit in those corners. I still don't think it would have given us enough for the pole today."
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (7th with a lap time of 1:16.606 seconds at 105.172 mph)
"We've had big understeer everywhere since we got here. We actually changed the car quite a bit overnight and now I've got oversteer as well. The car is still not doing anything that I want it to do. We've got big understeer and the rear is real nervous on entry as well. My teammate's (Jeff Simmons) car is obviously working a lot better than ours. We came with the same setup, but we've changed it quite a bit. I didn't think small things were going to help, so the changes we've made are quite drastic. But it hasn't seemed to help us much. We'll have to have another rethink with the Team KOOL Green engineers and see what we can come up with for warm-up. The car has been quick on every road or street course we've been on this year and we were fast at the test, so it's a bit strange that the understeer would turn up here. We qualified and ran well here last year, so maybe we'll try that setup tomorrow."