Miami (October 6, 2002)Â -- Â Team Motorola battled a tight race track and sweltering heat enroute to an eighth place finish in Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix Americas on the downtown streets of Miami. Â It was a long afternoon for driver Michael...
Miami (October 6, 2002) -- Team Motorola battled a tight race track and sweltering heat enroute to an eighth place finish in Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix Americas on the downtown streets of Miami. It was a long afternoon for driver Michael Andretti, who fought an ill-handling race car throughout the 105-lap event. Andretti, who started fourteenth, found himself running as high as fifth place during the race, but was forced to settle for eighth position when Tony Kanaan's attempt to pass caused both drivers to run off of the race track on the final lap.
Cristiano da Matta won today's race and was able to clinch the 2002 CART FedEx Championship. Christian Fittipaldi was second while Jimmy Vasser was third.
Da Matta clinched the championship with 212 points. Bruno Junqueira is second with 143 points while Andretti's technical partner Dario Franchitti is third with 129 points. Andretti is eighth with 90 points.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"It was really, really physical out there today. When you combine the tight track with today's heat and an ill-handling car, it sure makes for a long day. I thought Team Motorola was going to be able to salvage a decent finish at the end but Tony (Kanaan) tried to pass me in a spot that I didn't expect and I guess he was committed to the inside and he took me out. It was a challenge out there today for us. We couldn't get the car to handle well and that just made it so tough."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"It was really a pretty tough race for everybody, there were a lot of green flag laps out there. We thought we were going to come home in sixth position but Tony Kanaan tried to pass us in a place where you obviously can't, so we finished eighth. It's disappointing. We certainly need to qualify better, this race track was all about track position and we certainly didn't have that today. We tried to move up in the field with our pit stop strategy but we weren't able to get it done. Now Team Motorola is going to concentrate on getting down to Surfers Paradise with everything together to make sure we can qualify up front."