CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Cleveland preview

FORD RACING - CART Race ...

FORD RACING - CART Race #8
Marconi GP of Cleveland - Burke Lakefront Airport - Cleveland, OH

WHEN: July 1, 2001
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.106-mile permanent road course
RACE DISTANCE: 210.600 miles (100 laps)

TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): ABC; 1:00 PM (live)

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Roberto Moreno
DEFENDING POLESITTER: Roberto Moreno (132.001 miles per hour; 57.436 seconds)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Jimmy Vasser (134.385 miles per hour; 56.417 seconds)

2001 DRIVER POINTS (7 races): BRACK (76)
Helio Castroneves (69)
Michael Andretti (53)
Cristiano da Matta (49)
Christian Fittipaldi (46)

2001 MANUFACTURER POINTS (7 races): Honda (116)
Toyota (114)
FORD-COSWORTH (100)

RACING ON THE SHORES OF CLEVELAND - The Ford-Cosworth XF engine scored its first pole position on a road or street course at Cleveland last year when Roberto Moreno took the checkered flag to win his first career CART event. Moreno's pole position was just the first at Cleveland for Ford-Cosworth since Ford returned to Champ Car competition in 1992, while his victory was also just the second (Jacques Villeneuve, '95) during that time span on the shores of Lake Erie. Cosworth Racing has won a total of seven races at Cleveland since the event began in 1982, including five in a row from 1982 to 1986.

BRACK MAINTAINS LEAD IN DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP; FORD-COSWORTH GAINS IN THE MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP - Despite his 11th-place finish last weekend in Portland, current championship points leader Kenny Brack actually increased his advantage in the standings over Helio Castroneves who finished 17th. Brack (76 points) now leads Castroneves (69 points) by seven points, and Michael Andretti (53 points) by 23 points with 13 races remaining in the CART FedEx Championship season. With Max Papis scoring the maximum 22 points in Portland for claiming the pole, winning the race and leading the most laps, Ford-Cosworth (100 points) gained significant ground on Honda (116 points) and Toyota (114 points) in the chase for the manufacturers' championship.

FORD FAVORITES AT CLEVELAND - Although there are several drivers capable of winning a race in the FedEx Championship Series, Ford-Cosworth drivers Kenny Brack, Patrick Carpentier, Bryan Herta and Max Papis each stand a strong chance of sipping champagne this weekend. Here's a quick look at each of these drivers and why they should be considered favorites:

Kenny Brack - Kenny Brack heads to Cleveland having scored championship points in five straight events, including victories in Japan and Milwaukee. Brack has qualified outside the top 10 in just one race this season (Portland), and currently leads the championship standings by seven points over Helio Castroneves. In his first career appearance at Cleveland last season, Brack scored his first road course podium appearance after driving from his 15th starting position to a second place finish.

Patrick Carpentier - Patrick Carpentier continues his hot streak following a fifth-place finish at Portland a week ago. After suffering four straight DNF's to begin the season, Carpentier has now finished three consecutive races and has scored back-to-back top-nine results (Detroit - 9th and Portland - 5th). Carpentier has scored three top-10 finishes in four career appearances at Cleveland, including fifth last season, seventh in 1999 and ninth in 1998.

Bryan Herta -Bryan Herta has performed well throughout his career at Cleveland, scoring five top-10 finishes in seven career appearances on the runways of Burke Lakefront Airport. Herta's best career finish at Cleveland came in 1995 when he finished second, but he's also finished third (1997), fifth (1996), sixth (1999) and ninth (2000).

Max Papis - Max Papis takes his hot streak to Cleveland after capturing his second career victory, and his first from the pole, last weekend in Portland. Papis led 69 of 76 laps and never put a wheel wrong despite the rainy and slippery conditions at Portland en route to the victory. Papis has now scored points in each of the last four races, including finishes of sixth (Japan), eighth (Milwaukee), 11th (Detroit) and first (Portland).

COSWORTH CHAMP CAR WINS - Max Papis' win at Portland last weekend was the 208th victory for Cosworth Racing in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since entering North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 161 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine in the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League (IRL) (was sanctioned by USAC). Michael Andretti has won the most races using a Cosworth engine (25), followed by Rick Mears (20), Bobby Rahal (18), Mario Andretti (16) and Johnny Rutherford (16).

CART WHEELS FOR KIDS - Zakspeed/Forsythe driver Bryan Herta will be the featured guest when the CART Wheels for Kids summer camp program visits the Cleveland West Park YMCA at 10:00am on Thursday morning. Herta will relay safety messages to the children regarding such key components as seatbelts, helmets and the environment; educate them about the sport and the FedEx Championship Series, and create a special experience for all those involved.

SPARK PLUGS - Danny Sullivan's win at Cleveland in 1984 was Cosworth Racing's 100th Champ Car victory ... Ford has won just two races at Cleveland since re-entering Champ Car competition in 1992 (Moreno, '00 and Villeneuve, '95) ... Cosworth Racing won five consecutive races at Cleveland from 1982 to 1986 ... Roberto Moreno's pole position at Cleveland last season was Ford's first in nine attempts ... Bryan Herta is Ford-Cosworth's most experienced CART driver this season with 106 career Champ Car starts.

-Ford Racing

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