Fittipaldi clocks record lap during qualifying at Cleveland


July 06, 1991

CLEVELAND FRENCH GRAND PRIX — CLEVELAND -- Emerson Fittipaldi blazed a track qualifying record on his final lap yesterday to hold off hard-charging Michael Andretti in a hot provisional pole duel for tomorrow's Cleveland Grand Prix.

Fittipaldi's fast lap of 139.615 mph came as the checkered flag ended the 30-minute qualifying session on the 2.37-mile, 10-turn temporary road course at Burke Lakefront Airport.

It came a tick before Andretti posted a lap of 139.983, good enough for second place on the tentative grid.

The quick lap of the day broke the record of 139.319 set last year by Rick Mears, now Fittipaldi's teammate, on the circuit that was shortened in 1990 from 2.48 miles.

Both racers agreed that with another day of practice and qualifying, speeds are likely to improve.

"There's one section out there that was repaved and it's very slippery," Andretti said. "With some more running and some more rubber, that's going to get easier to handle and faster."

MAGNY COURS, France -- Defending world champion Ayrton Senna of Brazil has a shot at being a pole sitter again, having won the provisional pole yesterday for the French Grand Prix.

Senna drove his McLaren-Honda over a new 2.654-mile course in 1 minute, 16.557 seconds for an average speed of 124.795 mph.


Pepsi 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Sterling Marlin, winless in 204 NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts dating to 1976, when he was a teen-ager, has his Ford on the pole at Daytona International Speedway after qualifying at 190.331 mph for the green flag.


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