CHAMPCAR/CART: da Matta, Fittipaldi Road America Friday notes

CRISTIANO da MATTA, ...

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "The car is a little better than it was in the first session so we made small gains. Balance wise though, the car is mostly the same as the first session. I flatspotted one set of tires so I had to use two in the session. That's where we picked up some time. The car is nothing special right now but we will keep working to find what is going on with the car because it has been this way at most of the tracks. I enjoy driving on this track. It's fun but it will be much more fun once we get the car handling better."

· NOTE: Only 34 points out of first place in the CART standings in sixth with 70 points to leader Kenny Brack who has 104. Will be his third Champ car race at Road America and first with NHR. Da Matta finished 22nd last season after starting 13 and suffering a pit accident. In his 1999 start at Road America, he finished 21st after starting in 11th and having to retire early due to transmission failure.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We changed the balance from this morning but the car is basically the same. We have no grip. We are usually much quicker on Friday here but we are going to keep working on the car and try to come up with a solution to make us better. We're lost right now but we've always had a good car here so we'll just keep plugging away and hope we find something to make us quicker before qualifying."

· NOTE: Is currently 50 points back from first place in the point standings in 10th place with 55 to leader Kenny Brack, 104. Hopes to have another good run at Road America after finishing on the podium in two of his past three starts here. In 2000, he was in 2nd place after starting 8th when his car experienced exhaust failure; in 1999, Fittipaldi won the event; in 1998, he finished 3rd place despite race morning neck problems; in 1997 he finished 4th despite electronics problems that intermittently limited his engine boost by 40 percent; in 1996 his engine blew while in 2nd place in the closing laps (leader Al Unser Jr.'s engine blew as well on the final lap); in 1995 he was in 3rd place when a late race caution flag came out and his engineer elected to have him stay on track despite the fact that the remainder of the field pitted - he dropped to 8th after having to make a green flag stop in his rookie season for Walker Racing.

Qualifying for the Motorola 220 will air 1 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2 CART 2Day airs 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN, while ESPN's live race broadcast begins 1 p.m. ET. Twenty of 21 FedEx Championship Series events are being televised live on ABC-TV or ESPN and 18 are being televised live on Eurosport, a European network that reaches 250 million viewers in 54 countries. Sunday's race will also air on the CART Radio Network and on CART's official website, at www.cart.com .

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Kenny Brack