|BALTIMORE, Sept. 1, 2012 – Juan Pablo Garcia qualified the No. 76 Freightliner Jeffrey Mark Motorsport (JMM) car in eighth position Saturday at the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT, but he believes his Firestone Indy Lights car will have more speed to show on race day.“During qualifying, I got held up by traffic on my fast lap when I had a new set of tires on,” Garcia said. “Later on in the session on another flying lap we got a red flag and the session was stopped before I could complete my lap. It’s a shame because I know we were faster than we showed.”
Garcia and JMM earned the eighth starting position with a lap of 84.793 mph. They will now shift to race mode and work to maximize the potential of the No. 76 car on race day.
“Tomorrow is another day, and we’ll look over our data tonight to see what we can do to make the race a good one for our team,” Garcia said.
Saturday morning practice and qualifying was Garcia’s first chance to try out the new chicane added to the track overnight after a shortened practice session on Friday.
“I think the chicane helped to improve the track a lot today,” Garcia said. “There are still a lot of bumps but it’s not nearly as bad now that the chicane is slowing us down a bit on the front stretch.”
Tristan Vautier of Sam Schmidt Motorsports earned the pole for the Grand Prix of Baltimore with a lap at 87.753 mph. His teammate Esteban Guerrieri joins him on the front row with a quick lap in qualifying of 86.917 mph.
Sebastian Saavedra and Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport will start third and fourth respectively, and Oliver Webb of Sam Schmidt Motorsports will start fifth.
The 35-lap Firestone Indy Lights race at the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, September 2 at 12:30 p.m. ET.