Rossoni Nabs Provisional Pole (SEBRING, Fla.) Mar. 16, 2000 -Brazilian Nilton Rossoni grabbed a hold of the provisional pole for Round 1 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. He did so by a healthy margin, but tomorrow's final qualifying session ...
Rossoni Nabs Provisional Pole
(SEBRING, Fla.) Mar. 16, 2000 -Brazilian Nilton Rossoni grabbed a hold of the provisional pole for Round 1 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. He did so by a healthy margin, but tomorrow's final qualifying session should see the times drop considerably if the expected rain holds off. Thus, Rossoni can little afford to rest on his laurels, although he could, as his second best lap would have been good enough for pole.
Rossoni took the provisonal pole on his eighth of 13 laps flashing through the timing beams in 2:07.196 sec., good for an average speed of 104.720 mph around the 3.7-mile historic Sebring International Raceway.
"Today was good," said 19-year old Rossoni. "The car was not properly set-up at the beginning of the session, so I stopped and made a few adjustments, and it felt much better. Tomorrow everybody is going to be faster if the track is dry and I feel I have a good cool weather set-up."
Rossoni has a fondness for the Sebring track, and with good reason.
"I've always loved this track. My first Pro Series start was here in 1998 when I started 33rd and I almost made the podium," he recalled.
Second on the provisional grid is Co-Rookie of the Year Roger Yasukawa, who scorched his last lap to slot himself on to the front row. His 12th lap of the half-hour session stopped the clocks at 2:07.415 sec.
Yasukawa had been among the Top-3 early in the session, but thought he could find more speed with some adjustments to his Barber Dodge Reynard's set-up. After making the changes some traffic impeded Santa Monica, Ca. resident's ability to turn a fast lap. The gap opened on his final tour, good enough for second.
Michael Valiante, the other Co-Rookie of the Year, held onto the third quickest time of the first qualifying session. The 20-year old native of Vancouver, Canada set his time midway through the session in an attempt to put at least one good lap in the bank. Good thing he did, for he was unable to better that time for the balance of the session.
"I tried to set a time early in the session, focusing on the first five laps while the tires were still fresh. After pitting mid-way through the session to make some adjustments, I never managed to get a clear lap. The track should be better tomorrow, and so will the car," Valiante explained.
The final session to set the field for Round 1 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. The likely cooler temperatures and lighter winds should lend themselves to a real battle for the first pole of the year. The Top-10 drivers on the provisional grid are within 1 sec. of each other. <pre> Pos Car Driver/Hometown/Time 1 36 Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil/2:07.196 2 9 Roger Yasukawa/Santa Monica, Calif./2:07.415 3 95 Michael Valiante/Vancouver,Canada/2:07.420 4 52 Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif./2:07.500 5 5 Sepp Koster/The Netherlands/2:07.517 6 20 Alexandre Sperafico/Brazil/2:07.643 7 4 Brent Sherman/ North Barrington, Ill./2:07.806 8 11 Thed Björk/Vretstorp, Sweden/2:08.036 9 7 Jamie Menninga/Pella, Iowa/2:08.040 10 17 Matt Plumb/Unionville, Penn./2:08.110 11 82 Jonathon Macri/Ontario, Canada/2:08.317 12 28 Andre Nicastro/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/2:08.332 13 53 Tom Fogarty/Copco Lake, Calif/2:08.385 14 8 Peter Boss/Narragansett, R.I./2:08.548 15 31 Ryan Hunter-Reay/Boca Raton, Fla./2:08.565 16 44 Sam Hancock/London, England/2:08.691 17 25 Kip Gulseth/Manitowoc, Wisc./2:08.778 18 21 Jon Vannini/Hillsborough, California/2:09.151 19 26 Rhonda Trammell/Pittsboro, Ind./2:09.157 20 63 Craig Duerson/St. Petersburg, Fla./2:09.272 21 19 Sara Senske/Kennewick, Washington/2:09.424 22 33 Milka Duno/Caracas, Venezuela/2:09.968 23 27 Charles Putt/London, England/2:09.306 24 77 Scott Mayer/Franklin, Wis./2:09.499 25 23 Marc Breuers/Gladwyne, Penn./2:10.514 26 66 Ryan Vella/Nobleton, Ontario, Canada/2:10.805 27 12 Keith Dusko/Red Bank, New Jersey/2:11.302 28 22 Jay Ricci/Grosse Pointe, Michigan/2:12.192