CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Mid-Ohio qualifying report

Rookie driver Kenny Brack will start fourth for tomorrow's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Brack was the fastest Ford-powered car, lapping the 2.2-mile circuit in 1:05.806 (123.527 mph). Christian Fittipaldi posted the ...

Rookie driver Kenny Brack will start fourth for tomorrow's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Brack was the fastest Ford-powered car, lapping the 2.2-mile circuit in 1:05.806 (123.527 mph). Christian Fittipaldi posted the fifth-fastest time in qualifying (1:05.962; 123.235 mph), while Max Papis was sixth (1:06.047; 123.076 mph), Michael Andretti eighth (1:06.338; 122.536 mph) and Patrick Carpentier ninth (1:06.391; 122.438 mph).

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 4th - "We had a good run this afternoon and we made some improvements in the car. The last lap was about a tenth off going into turn three and then we had the red flag. I don't know whether it would've been a lap that would've gotten us any further up the grid, (but) we're happy where we are. The car and the guys performed well and I think we're probably right where we want to be."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 5th -

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE CAR? "Yeah I'm happy. I think the race is going to come to us tomorrow. You always expect a little more from qualifying, so if the car was in the front two rows I'd be a little happier, but it's okay ... it's a long race. A couple of times the second day we usually go backwards. At least we didn't go backwards (today), we improved the car and we improved on our lap times. We were real quick on the first set (of tires) and then reasonably quick on the second set (of tires), so in general I'm happy. It's the best car I've ever had at Mid-Ohio. Usually we struggle at this place and I know it was pretty easy this time. We really didn't struggle anywhere; we were always up there. Apart from the first session where he had an engine problem, I broke an engine and lost half an hour of running, but all the other sessions I was always in the top five, so I'm happy and we'll see what happens tomorrow."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 6th -

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR QUALIFYING RUN? "The first set of tires were very, very fast and on the second set we tried to go for lesser downforce to try and go for the pole (position). I'm happy for the team, I think we did a very good job. We tried to go for pole position and unfortunately we didn't (get it), but it's no big deal."

DO YOU FEEL CONFIDANT ABOUT THE RACE TOMORROW? "Yeah. I think we have a good car if we can get to the end. When we get to the end tomorrow we are definitely going to have a strong finish."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 8th - "I was sliding around a lot. Christian did pretty well though. I'm glad to be in the top-10. Now I have to work on getting in the top-five in the race. Gil (de Ferran) is going to be tough. It's hard to pass here so we will have to make up some spots in the pits. The guys have been great in making up positions for me in the races that would definitely help us here. It will just be a race of hanging in there and bringing home some points toward the championship."

ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 15th - "Well basically what we were fighting was a gearbox problem, and I think we're working hard to fix that. Unfortunately today my primary car had another problem - it wouldn't shift gears, so we had to go to the (backup) car to qualify. It's a bit of a handicap for us but we have our chins up and believe we have a good car for the race. I'm going to have to count again on the crew and Jim McGee's calls on strategy and try to move up on the grid. We're definitely not as happy as we wished to be - we still have some gearbox problems that we're trying to fix, but we're moving in the right direction and with luck we'll get the problems sorted out before the end of the weekend."

IS THIS ONE OF THE MORE IMPORTANT RACES FOR YOU TO REMAIN IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT? "I think every race now is very important because we're three quarters to the championship and every point counts. I think halfway in the championship there was already important races to be finishing, which we unfortunately didn't a couple times, but we think we're in the game still and we will fight very hard to stay up there. I'm very confident that the team can take me to the podium a few times this year yet."

GUALTER SALLES (#19 Sports Today Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 21st - "I'm a lot happier today. I'm not completely happy, but with no testing and being a year away from a road course it's not too bad. We improved a lot compared to yesterday, I think nearly two seconds. We're still off but heading in the right direction. We just have to make it (the car) as good as possible for tomorrow and try to score some points in the race. It's not too bad for my first time, so hopefully we can build from here and move up on the grid."

TARSO MARQUES (#21 Panasonic Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 22nd - "It was a little better in the last run ... we improved the car a lot. We made some changes that made it (the car) better, but unfortunately on our fastest lap we had a clutch problem. The clutch was spinning so on the straightaways the revs were going straight up and the car was very slow, so we lost our best lap."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Kenny Brack