Vancouver Friday summary

VANCOUVER, B.C., Columbia, Canada (Sept. 1, 2000) - Dayton Indy Lights Championship points leader Scott Dixon (Invensys/Powerware/PacWest Lola) continued to cruise on top Friday when he won the provisional pole in first-round qualifying at the ...

VANCOUVER, B.C., Columbia, Canada (Sept. 1, 2000) - Dayton Indy Lights Championship points leader Scott Dixon (Invensys/Powerware/PacWest Lola) continued to cruise on top Friday when he won the provisional pole in first-round qualifying at the Molson Indy Vancouver. Dixon leads the Dayton Indy Lights Championship by 13 points over rookie Townsend Bell (DirecPC Lola), 93 - 80, and could earn another bonus point if he retains the pole in Saturday's final qualifying.

Dixon set a new track record of 93.332 mph (68.697 seconds) to win the provisional pole in Friday qualifying at the Molson Indy Vancouver.

"I'm pleased with my car at this stage of the weekend," Dixon said. "I have pretty good grip everywhere, but the track conditions change so frequently that it's making this a little tough. We did battle a slight understeer and can definitely tune it a bit more overnight. Because of the changing conditions, we didn't get a lot of track time so I'm looking forward to Saturday to fine tune my car for the race."

Rookie Jeff Simmons (KOOL Lola) was second fastest despite ending the session early due to a penalty in qualifying at Mid-Ohio.

"With the 8-minute penalty at the end of the session I knew I had to go out there and go pretty quick," said Simmons. "Once we got that first red flag, I knew I was not going to have any time to make any changes. The car was not perfect but it was pretty good. Like everyone else, we are going to have to tune on it."

Mario Dominguez (Herdez/Pegaso/Quaker State Lola) was third fastest.

"We are getting better," Dominguez said. "We have been making changes within the team but not with people but having a different attitude towards things because we have had three very bad races. We have been working on that and I think that has helped. We have a better car right now. I was blocked a few times so I never got two laps in a row but it is OK, the car is good."

PacWest placed both of its race cars in the top four as Dixon's teammate Tony Renna (Motorola/PacWest Lights Lola) continued to run strong.

"The car is pushing a lot so we do have some work to do overnight," Renna said. "I'm not really getting the grip I need yet, and we still have a little tweaking to do with my gear ratios. I was hitting the limiter quite often in the corners. I'm happy with my fourth place position for Friday and will work on improving things tomorrow. We definitely have more speed in my car so I'm anxious to get out there tomorrow to improve my position."

Townsend Bell (DirecPC Lola) led the three-driver Dorricott Racing entry.

"I certainly could have had a better lap time," Bell said. "Early in the session but we were struggling with the brakes. I think brake hassles are affecting all three Dorricott cars today. Part of the reason I hit a tire barrier twice is brake related. We were trying to get better balance and the brakes fought it. I also need some reasonable dry track lap time tomorrow if I want to improve on the grid."

Dorricott's Jason Bright (Dorricott Racing Lola) was eighth fastest while Casey Mears (Dorricott Racing/Sooner Trailer Lola) was 10th quickest.

The surprise of the day was Team Mexpro drivers Derek Higgins and Rudy Junco who topped the time sheets in practice in the morning session. Higgins, who earned a career-best qualifying effort of third here in 1998 and went on to finish second in the race, was fastest. He qualified seventh, just behind Felipe Giaffone (Hollywood Lola) who came in sixth.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Casey Mears , Scott Dixon , Townsend Bell , Derek Higgins , Mario Dominguez , Tony Renna , Jason Bright , Jeff Simmons , Rudy Junco