Denver, Colorado -- Team KOOL Green heads into this weekend's Shell Grand Prix of Denver with its sights clearly set on earning their second straight win at a new CART venue. Last weekend's victory at the Molson Indy Montreal propelled Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti into second place in the overall standings and marked the fourth time since 1998 that TKG has earned a podium at an inaugural event.
26 - Paul Tracy
(Currently 9th in the standings with 81 points)
"Going to Denver is exciting for me. I've raced in the city twice but that was way back in Indy Lights and it was on a different course, so that won't give me an advantage. I think the track will be great, Dario was able to tour it over the summer and he said that he liked it. I think we will be able to put on a good race. We scored some points last weekend and we're intent on continuing to run near the front so we can add some more this weekend. Just like every weekend, I think qualifying is going to be important. Team KOOL Green is going to have to unload a fast car so we can concentrate on tweaking the setup to run for the pole and then go for the win."
27 - Dario Franchitti
(Currently 2nd in the standings with 106 points)
"We're certainly energized by our win at Montreal last weekend and hopefully Team KOOL Green can carry our great results over to Denver. We have always done well at new venues and I've been particularly lucky on the street courses. I'm pretty confident heading into this weekend and I'd like to be the first to win here too. I had a chance to tour most of the track this past July and I'm sure it will be a good race. The track is very busy, there's not much time for a driver to rest. Denver's mile-high elevation will affect the aerodynamic grip of the car but because there are transitions from asphalt to concrete, we will also need to find the right amount of mechanical grip."
Barry Green - Team Owner
"It's been a good week for Team KOOL Green and we've got every intention of riding this wave into Denver. The team has been working very hard to give us great cars and they proved their skills in a big way last weekend. We have every reason to be confident, Dario is second in the points and the battle through the middle of the pack is tight enough that a win could jump Paul right up the standings. Denver is going to be a real test on all of us, both physically and mechanically. It's going to be a very interesting weekend.
One day after winning the inaugural Molson Indy Montreal, Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti was at the controls of a four-seat Bell Jet Ranger III helicopter in Miami. Franchitti spent the day flying local media over the site of the Grand Prix Americas, which is on the CART schedule for October 6. Franchitti, who earned his helicopter pilot license a little over a month ago, gave media a bird's-eye view of the 1.57-mile street circuit before bringing the KOOL Kopter back to the heliport. Things are definitely looking up for Team KOOL Green in more ways than one. While the victory in Montreal had mood-elevating effects on everyone at TKG, this weekend's Shell Grand Prix of Denver will bring the team up another level. At 5280 feet, the mile-high elevation in Denver is sure to present interesting challenges for all teams racing this weekend. While Denver's thinner air is expected to affect aerodynamic performance, it will also provide Paul Tracy and Franchitti with an opportunity to test their own fitness levels in ways not yet seen in 2002.
Besides aerodynamic challenges, TKG engineers will be working to maximize engine performance at high altitude as well. Because CART cars use turbo-charged engines, which have the same air inlet pressure at sea level as they do at 5000 feet, horsepower is only negligibly affected in the higher elevation. While the heat generated by the engine remains virtually the same, Denver's thinner air will be unable to provide the same amount of engine cooling as seen at lower altitude races. TKG will be working closely with its partners at Honda to ensure that extra cooling airflow is available throughout the weekend.
Not including this weekend's race in Denver, Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti have participated in seven inaugural race events since they joined TKG in 1998. Of those seven races, TKG has ended up on the podium four times. Franchitti achieved two of those four podiums on street courses (Houston 1998 and Montreal 2002), while Paul Tracy finished third in Monterrey, Mexico in 2001. This weekend's Shell Grand Prix of Denver will be held on the city's new street course at the Pepsi Center.
Streets of Denver, Denver, Colorado
Sunday, September 1, 2002
TV SCHEDULE - Speed Channel (All times EDT)
Fri., August 30 4:00 p.m. CART Qualifying LIVE
10:30 p.m. CART Friday Night
Sat., August 31 3:30 p.m. CART Qualifying LIVE
Sun., September 1 3:30 p.m. Race LIVE WEEKEND SCHEDULE (All times local MT)
Friday, August 30
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Champ Car Practice
2:10 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. Champ Car Qualifying 1
Saturday, August 31
10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Champ Car Practice
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Champ Car Qualifying 2
Sunday, September 1
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Champ Car Warm-Up
1:00 p.m. Champ Car Race