SBRS: Rondet rolls to provisional pole at Phoenix

"Jon (Morley) showed us the way the last two sessions and the qualifying is so tight that tomorrow is another day," said a sanguine Rondet. "The draft was not so important today as the wings give you a greater advantage in clean air so I tried to...

"Jon (Morley) showed us the way the last two sessions and the qualifying is so tight that tomorrow is another day," said a sanguine Rondet. "The draft was not so important today as the wings give you a greater advantage in clean air so I tried to stay away from traffic."

Rondet was characteristically quiet during the previous practice sessions.

"I'm never good in practice," added Rondet. "I always focus on qualifying and the race when it really counts and I don't think there is a 'miracle' set up so I just try to get a good read on the car and the track during practice."

Sperafico of Toledo Parana, Brazil continues on the good form found at the first race in Sebring. He snared the pole for the first time 20 minutes into the session only to have Rondet take it right back moments later. A red flag halted the qualifying session at the 23rd minute for five minutes. When the track reopened, Sperafico reclaimed the provisional pole only to have Rondet lower the mark once again as the session drew to a close.

"I had a lot of understeer early in the session, but we made a bit of a change to the set up to get some more grip," said Sperafico who drives the No. 9 Iveco Fiat Dodge Reynard. "After the red flag, I set a good time but then made a mistake on my next lap and got into traffic on my last lap. Tomorrow we will be on new tires and if the temperatures stay the same or are cooler everyone will go faster."

Morley was the quickest driver on the track in the opening minutes of the session, only to struggle somewhat midway through. A change to stiffen his Barber-CART Big Scholarship/Centric Parts, Inc. Dodge Reynard midway through found an improvement in speed, but alas ran out of time to take full advantage of the change.

"I felt a little pressure going into the qualifying being the fastest rookie as well as the fastest overall in practice. But I soon got over it and found a good rhythm after making the change to my car. I just ran out of time in the end, but I'm not too worried as tomorrow's another day," said Morley.

Matt Plumb of Unionville, Penn. was fourth quick just a tenth of a second slower than Morley. Plumb struggled early in the session only to make the necessary changes to his car to find a significant improvement and vault to fourth at the end of the session. Dutchman Sepp Koster finished fifth overall after having held the provisional pole midway through the session.

Another Pennsylvanian Marc Breurs just missed out on breaking into the top-5 for the first time in his Sunoco liveried Dodge Reynard. The second year driver finished the day sixth quick. Rounding out the Top-10 were Roger Yasukawa (7th), Rafael Sperafico (8th), Sara Senske (9th) and Peter Boss (10th)

Final qualifying is set for Friday, April 20 at 2:05 p.m. PDT.

- George Tamayo

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Roger Yasukawa , Rafael Sperafico , Sepp Koster , Matt Plumb