CHAMPCAR/CART: Detroit Friday Ford Racing notes

All the news at the Tenneco Automotive Detroit Grand Prix centered around Team Rahal. In a surprise announcement, Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal was named interim President and CEO of CART, succeeding Andrew Craig. On the track, Max Papis ...

All the news at the Tenneco Automotive Detroit Grand Prix centered around Team Rahal.

In a surprise announcement, Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal was named interim President and CEO of CART, succeeding Andrew Craig.

On the track, Max Papis posted the fastest time of the day, navigating the 2.346-mile temporary street circuit in 1:13.903. Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack also served notice posting the third quickest time of the day.

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 1st -

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHANGES THAT WERE ANNOUNCED TODAY?

"This is a very special series and one that we need to promote better. Sometimes (the drivers) are treated like a softball team and we need to do a better job of promoting the series and the drivers. For me, from a driver's standpoint, we need to exploit the personalities of the drivers. I am not an expert at doing that, but I think it's something we need to do more."

HOW ARE THE CONDITIONS ON THE TRACK?

"The tires are a little harder than we had here last year. There will still be marbles, but not as many. At least I don't think there will be. I don't have much experience last year because I was out after the last lap. But the harder tires are definitely better. With the harder tires, Sunday should be a better race. The grip is limited out there. One problem we have out there is what I call the typical American concrete patches. The track surface is not as enjoyable to drive as say Portland."

KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 3rd -

WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE TRACK?

The track in nice.  It's not difficult to learn
at all.  It's a very nice track but it is certainly important to start up
front.  Let's hope for rain tomorrow.  I am in a good spot right now." 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF DRIVING IN THE RAIN?

"It's been a while. We have done a lot of testing on the road courses but we have not done any testing in the rain. I wouldn't mind if it did rain, because people tell me that I may need the experience before Portland. It's been four years since I ran in the rain so I could use the practice."

YOU HAVE BEEN HAVING A PRETTY GOOD ROOKIE SEASON. CAN YOU ASSESS IT SO FAR?

"It's going well. I am still learning a lot. There is a lot of strong attention in the series. It's a different environment each week. We have had good results and some bad results, but overall I am happy."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 8th

"I thought this morning that we would be closer to the front than we are, so we've just got to get it a little better. It's sliding a little bit too much, and I was surprised. I thought we would be a lot quicker. If it's dry tomorrow then it'll be quicker, and hopefully we can improve."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 9th -

"I brushed the wall with the rear tire and messed up the set of tires. It was a tough day. We are not where we want to be but we did make some good changes and I think we are on the right track."

PATRICK CARPENTIER -32- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 13th -

"We had a tough afternoon. We struggled all day and didn't have a good morning session. This afternoon we made some big changes and they helped. I was a bit frustrated this morning, but we have made some big improvements today. We should be a lot better tomorrow."

ALEX TAGLIANI -33- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 14th -

"First of all I was learning the track, and the car was definitely way too stiff on the concrete patches. So we went with a lot softer setup for this afternoon and fortunately for us we improved a bunch, but still we were a little bit off in the 30-minute session, which is not the time to work on the car. Hopefully tomorrow we can continue to improve our car and qualify somewhere near the front."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 15th -

"We made considerable changes from this morning because the car was not running very well, and somewhere we missed our setup from '98 when the car was very good. Then I was trying hard on the second lap and unfortunately I went a little deeper than I should have in the corner I crashed in. But I have a feeling that we have a direction that will help us get back in front tomorrow."

ROBERTO MORENO -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 11th -

"The setup that we had this morning was terrible. We worked on it, we scratched our heads and we came up with a better setup for qualifying, but now we need fine-tuning which we couldn't get in the qualifying session."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bobby Rahal