Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy will line up 14th and 16th respectively for Sunday's Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after another day of trials and tribulations with the new Lola chassis.

Franchitti recorded a best lap of 1:10.596 seconds (114.124 mph), while Tracy posted a time of 1:10.616 seconds (114.093 mph) in the final hour of qualifying at the 2.238-mile circuit.

Cristiano da Matta will start from the pole position and earned a point, after recording a time of 1:09.473 seconds (115.970 mph). Kenny Brack, who guaranteed himself a front row start by recording the best time in Friday qualifying, managed to improve his time to 1:09.575 seconds (115.800 mph) and will line up second. Bruno Junqueira will start third with a time of 1:09.759 seconds (115.495 mph).

Neither Tracy or Franchitti, who will make his 100th career Champ Car start tomorrow, were able to better the time they set in the early part of Saturday's qualifying session after polesitter da Matta's engine let go in the corkscrew, and left oil on the racing line down the back side of the eleven turn Mazda Raceway.

"I'm pretty disappointed because we had some good laps going and then the track got oiled down and it ruined the session for everyone," said Milwaukee winner Tracy. "The KOOL car was better this time out but it's a tough situation, because we couldn't take advantage of it. We're starting at the back and we've got to do everything we can to figure out a way to get to the front. We'll have to see what happens."

"The KOOL car is definitely the best it has been all weekend," said Franchitti who actually managed to trim an impressive 1.5-seconds off his best provisional qualifying time. "We are at the point now where we're thinking that if we do a bit here and a bit there, make small changes, we should be able to gain some time. I think we can work with the car a little bit. Yesterday, and even this morning, the car wasn't good at all. It seemed to have no redeeming factors, it was just scary. We're obviously struggling with the Lola this weekend. After how the car was this morning, this afternoon's session was a journey, it was like, wow, I can carry that much speed into the corner."

 

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