INDIANAPOLIS, In.-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are getting geared up for their trip across the pond for the second annual Rockingham 500 to be held on September 14 at the 1.5-mile oval in Corby, England. Â "I am looking forward to...
INDIANAPOLIS, In.-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are getting geared up for their trip across the pond for the second annual Rockingham 500 to be held on September 14 at the 1.5-mile oval in Corby, England. "I am looking forward to a change of pace," said Andretti. "It will nice to be racing on an oval again and hopefully we can have a change of luck to go along with the change of circuit." Andretti was referring to their disappointing Labor Day weekend in Denver where Andretti started 17th and finished 13th on the 1.65-mile street course. "We're looking forward to going back to a high speed oval," said general manager Kim Green. "This track is very similar to Motegi and our race car was very good there."
CART has abbreviated the racing weekend into a two-day event with practice and qualifying on Friday and a one-half hour warm-up session followed by the race on Saturday. "The challenge for Rockingham will be to tune the cars in basically one practice session and to qualify well," said general manager Kim Green. "Starting position on this track is critical because the shape of the track makes it difficult to pass." Andretti and Team Motorola switched to the Lola chassis just prior to the first oval race of the season and now, having had four months of working with the Lola, are very optimistic about their chances this weekend. "We had a good car at Motegi and it was the first time we had run the Lola," said Andretti. "Now that we've had a half-season working with this chassis I am anticipating a pretty good weekend at Rockingham."
Andretti and Team Motorola are currently ninth in the championship with 82 points. Cristiano daMatta has built a commanding lead with 175 points while Bruno Junqueira, after his victory in Denver, has moved back into second place with 123 points. Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti dropped to third place in the championship with 106 points while Paul Tracy, also a technical partner of Michael's, has moved into seventh place with 86 points.
Michael Andretti is in his 19th Champ Car season and currently leads all active Champ Car drivers in number of wins at 42, number of poles at 32, number of starts with 304 and laps led with 6,564.
Practice for the Rockingham 500 begins on Friday morning at 9:15 a.m. local time with qualifying at 2:00 p.m. Friday. As this is a two-day event, morning warm-up will follow on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the 211-lap race set to begin at 1:30 p.m. The race will be shown live on SpeedChannel Saturday, September 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET.