Max Papis, Driver -- ...
Max Papis, Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex
Qualified: 16th 68.815 118.125 mph
"For the first day of working with Fernández Racing and Honda, we did quite a lot of work. Being back here at Mid-Ohio is great. I think we are on the right track even if it is not easy to start from zero. I inherited a different way of driving and a different way of approaching the car. I am looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday especially. We made a good step forward today, but unfortunately we are on the back of the grid at the moment. It is a completely different situation to be in a new car with a new team but I am proud of what I am doing and we are making good progress. I think we should be competitive come Sunday. Don [Halliday] and the crew know what they are doing and just a little bit more of being methodical is going to pay off.
"The road course setup here at Fernández has been a little bit difficult in the last few races and I could see, jumping in the car at the beginning, that the car was really not suiting my style. We are making progress even if it is not as easy as I was expecting. Definitely, being out of the car for two months, gave me a better idea because I don't have any preconceptions, but at the same time to get the right chemistry is not easy. It takes more than an hour and a half of practice."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his seventh Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio and his 105th Champ Car career start^Å made Champ Car career debut at Mid-Ohio in 1996 with Arciero-Wells Racing^Å Best finishes at Mid-Ohio were fourth in 2000 and fifth in 1999^Å Best starting position at Mid-Ohio was sixth in 2000^Å Scored podium finishes (third) in two of five races contested this season^Å Last race was the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey on June 9^Å Has missed the past five Champ Car races due to Sigma Autosport's withdrawal from the series^Å has three career wins - Homestead (2000), Portland (2001) and Laguna Seca (2001)^Å claimed two career pole positions at Chicago (1999) and Portland (2001)^Å finished sixth in the championship last year^Å currently sits 16th in the championship with 32 points.
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 17th 69.031 117.756 mph
"My car was very nervous from the beginning of the session. We made changes and put on new tires and then there was a red flag. We have to do some work tonight, but I am confident that we can improve for tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio and his 48th career Champ Car start ^Å Finished 18th at Mid-Ohio last year after starting 23rd^Å Started 20th in 1999 but spun on Lap 59 and was credited with 19th place^Å Has posted points-paying finishes in the past five events, including a career-best fourth-place finish at Toronto^Å has made 15 career road course starts, claiming three points-paying finishes^Å is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing^Å currently sits 15th in the championship with 33 points.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"I think it was a constructive day for Fernández Racing. Obviously it is a big change not having our leader here, and we are all wishing Adrián well. Hats off to Max. I think he did a tremendous job after jumping in a car after two months on the sidelines. I know that he will improve tomorrow after he and Don have a night to work together. Shinji is still coming to grips with Mid-Ohio. He doesn't have a good track record here and, as much as he has improved over the last four months of the season, I know that he is a lot more capable than what he has shown today. I'm sure that Martin and Shinji will correct that this evening."
For more information, please visit www.fernandezracing.net and our media photo resource site at www.fernandezracing.net/media. Additional information on Max Papis can be found at www.maxpapis.com. For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit www.cart.com.