CHAMPCAR/CART: Kenny Brack EuroSpeeway Lausitz preview

Kenny Brack has been hot on the oval tracks in 2001. The 35-year-old Swede has recorded three wins, a second and two poles on the ovals while piloting Team Rahal's Shell Ford Lola to the CART FedEx Championship Series point lead most of the summer.

Kenny Brack has been hot on the oval tracks in 2001. The 35-year-old Swede has recorded three wins, a second and two poles on the ovals while piloting Team Rahal's Shell Ford Lola to the CART FedEx Championship Series point lead most of the summer. Brack, currently five points out of the lead, has dominated the oval tracks by leading almost three times as many laps as the next driver with443 laps led in five oval races. Now Brack, the 1999 Indy 500 winner, seeks his fourth win of the season on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the new two-mile Eurospeedway oval in Lausitz,Germany. Driving his No. 8 Shell Lola Ford, Brack returns to Germany for the first time since his controversial finish in the 1996 Formula 3000 finale when he was disqualified at Hockenheim. Brack's record in Germany has been successful with one win and one second in F-3000 in 1995 and 1996 at Hockenheim. Brack left the European racing scene in 1997 and has been a star in North America ever since. Overall this year, the Shell driver has won five poles and three races. "We've had a tremendous car on the ovals this year," said Brack. "And, to be honest, the Shell car has been good on the road circuits too. But we haven't had much luck on the roads. Now, coming back to Europe with the American-style oval racing, I'm anxious to show the racing fans over there about oval racing and I'm confident we'll be very competitive. I think all of the European-born drivers are very excited to race on the continent again and show how competitive the Cart FedEx series is and the excitement of oval racing."

BRACK READY FOR EUROSPEEDWAY: Brack's impressive oval racing record this year easily makes him the favorite at the inaugural CART race at the Eurospeedway. "We have been strong with the Lola Ford on the ovals," said Brack after his third win of the year at Chicago. "I just hope we can keep going. There is a lot of racing to go this year. We have to keep this oval success going right now. We can't relax at anytime. This CART series is just too competitive to let up for a second. We want to get back on the podium on the ovals."

"MAD" MAX ANXIOUS TO SHOW FANS OVAL RACING: Popular Italian Max Papis looks forward to returning to Europe this Saturday for the inaugural CART oval race on the new Eurospeedway. The Miller Genuine Draft Ford Lola driver is prepared to compete in Germany for the first time since racing at Hockenheim in the Formula One event in 1995 for Footwork. Papis came the U.S. in 1996 to drive sports cars for Ferrari and moved to the CART series later that year. In1999, he replaced racing legend Bobby Rahal in the Miller machine and quickly established himself as an oval contender. In 2000, Papis captured his first oval event in Miami.

PAPIS SAYS OVAL RACING WILL STUN THE EUROPEAN FANS: Papis, 31, had only seen the Indy 500 on television to relate to oval racing. "I never saw an oval track until I came tithe United States," said Papis, who also won this year at Portland. "Now, I really enjoy the ovals. It's a unique style of racing. Racing wheel-to-wheel racing at over 200miles per hour. It's exciting. I think that made the Miami win very special for me. For a European driver to wino an oval track, it's quite a feat. Think the fans in Europe will go nuts for oval racing."

PAPIS BELIEVES USA IS LAND OF OPPORTUNITY: Papis is one of the personable and outgoing drivers on the CART FedEx Championship Series. But a few years ago, Papis would have never had the opportunity to show his talents and personality. The CART series has become an international affair featuring many of the world's best drivers. "The United States has always been a land of immigrants," said Papis. "Look at Mario Andretti, one of USA's greatest drivers. He was born in Italy. In the United States, there is an opportunity to show your ability. And what counts the most is a man's ability and his personality beyond anything else. Plus the competitiveness of the CART FedEx series gives talented drivers a chance unlike in Formula One. I am like many former F-1 drivers who really didn't get a fair chance. So they come to CART and things can happen. Look at Kenny, Dario (Franchitti), Christian (Fittipaldi), Gil (de Ferran), Tony (Kanaan) and others. They got the opportunity and they performed."

RAHAL BACK ON THE CART SCENE:Team owner Bobby Rahal was back on the CART scene full time two weeks ago in Vancouver and he loved it. Rahal spent nine months as Jaguar Formula One CEO before resigned after differences with Ford director Niki Lauda and the direction of the Formula One operation. "It's great to be back in CART," said Rahal. "I missed the CART community and the interaction of the teams. It's much different than Formula One."

-sr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Kenny Brack , Niki Lauda