CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Walker Racing Preview

GIL DE FERRAN ...

GIL DE FERRAN # 5 VALVOLINE/CUMMINS - HONDA/REYNARD/GOODYEAR

NAOKI HATTORI (R) # 15 ALPINE - HONDA/REYNARD/GOODYEAR

RACE PREVIEW: MID-OHIO

What: MILLER LITE 200 Round Fourteenth of the 20-races FedEx Championship Series for the PPG Cup

When: Sunday, August 15th, 1999 at 2:30 PM ET.

Where: The Mid-Ohio Sports Road Course lies 10 miles to the SW of Mansfield, which is situated on interstate 71, about 70 miles SW of Cleveland and 60 miles NE of Columbus in Ohio.

Derrick Walker: Team Owner: "High hopes for this event, both Gil and Naoki have tested there and some we feel we know the best starting point. Mid Ohio is also, I think, a last chance to stay in the hunt. No points scoring race would put us out of reach of challenging for the PPG cup. Pressure is on!"

The Circuit: Often regarded as North America's best road course, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a very technically and physically demanding, classic racetrack. The track, set in picturesque, rolling countryside near Lexington, has everything to challenge the driver: long curves, right off-camber corners, long straights, and lots of hills. It was built in 1962 but bought in 1981 by the late Jim Trueman, In his family's hands, the circuit has been considerably improved through widening and resurfacing.

Distance: 187.414 miles - 83 laps

Type of track: 2.258 mile - 13 turns permanent road course Track width is 40' Pit lane is 40' wide 28 pits Pit lane is 1,160' long 3 garages, totaling 28 stalls

1999 Improvements: 4,500' of debris fencing added around the racing circuit 1,500' of existing debris fencing raised in height around the track 14-stall paddock garage with spectator balcony reconstructed

1998 Champion : Adrian Fernandez

Defending Polesitter: Dario Franchitti Track Records: - Qualifying (one lap):1998, Dario Franchitti 123.766 mph 1:05.679 time - Race - 1994, Al Unser Jr., 110.770 mph

Broadcast:

ESPN2 CART Qualifying 8:00 PM - (08/14)Saturday ESPN2 CART Qualifying 12:00 AM early Sunday (08/14)Saturday ESPN2 CART 2Day 11:00 AM - (08/15)Sunday WYXZ98.7AM CART Radio 2:30 PM Local - (08/15)Sunday ESPN CART Race 3:30 PM ET - (08/15)Sunday EuroSport CART Race 20:30 GMT - (08/15)Sunday ESPN CART Replay 3:00 PM ET (08/17)Tuesday

FedEx Championship Series Points (after 13 of 20 races):

1. Dario Franchitti - 136 2. Juan Montoya - 131 3. Michael Andretti - 119 4. Paul Tracy - 106 5. Christian Fittipaldi - 101 6. Greg Moore - 95 7. Adrian Fernandez - 95 8. Gil de Ferran - 88 9. Max Papis - 68 10. Tony Kanaan - 62 11. Jimmy Vasser - 54

Mid-Ohio " Fast Facts"

Road course Greatest variety of corners. Limit on top speed of 185-190 mph.

The Setup Most difficult type of circuit to set up a car for, because there is such a wide speed range: 65- to 145-mph corners.

Mechanical grip: springing, ride height and road control are extremely important.

The Driving Style You must be as aggressive as possible in the low-speed corners, but change your technique to be very smooth when you go faster GIL DE FERRAN # 5 VALVOLINE/CUMMINS - HONDA/REYNARD/GOODYEAR

RACE PREVIEW: MID-OHIO

De Ferran is 8th in the PPG Cup standings with 88 points; has finished on the podium in four races, including a victory at Portland, runner-up effort at Motegi and Cleveland , third at Milwaukee. He also has qualified among the top three drivers for six events, including pole at Motegi and Toronto, second at Cleveland, third at Portland, Road America and Detroit.

Gil de Ferran: "We have tested quite a lot here and that can only help us. I am confident that we will have a strong showing this weekend. The focus will be fine-tuning the car and work toward a solid race set-up. I believe that starting position is important here, because sometimes you can get stuck in a bit of a traffic jam, and the closer you are to the front the better chance you have of avoiding that type of situation. The Mid-Ohio Course is one of the finest traditional road courses in America."

History: Year Start Finish 1998 12 9 19.208 seconds behind winner - led 5 laps 1997 4 6 1996 14 17 1995 6 24

Gil de Ferran - 1999 Driver Index Report

Race Qualify Start Finish Race Points Total Rank Miami - Homestead NQ 25th 6th 8 8 6th Motegi - Japan 1st 1st 2nd 1+16 25 3rd Long Beach - California 7th 7th 6th 8 33 2nd Nazareth - Pennsylvania 13th 13th 15th 0 33 7th Rio - Brazil 4th 4th 10th 3 36 7th Madison - Illinois 15th 15th dnf 0 36 7th Milwaukee - Wisconsin 16th 16th 3rd 14 50 7th Portland - Oregon 3rd 3rd 1st 21 71 3rd Cleveland - Ohio 2nd 2nd 2nd 16 87 2nd Elkhart Lake - WI 3rd 3rd (dnf)14th 0 87 3rd Toronto - Canada 1st 1st (dnf)19th 0 88 5th Michigan - MI 15th 15th (dnf)24th 0 88 7th Detroit - MI 3rd 3rd (dnf)22nd 0 88 8th

NAOKI HATTORI (Rookie) # 15 ALPINE - HONDA/REYNARD/GOODYEAR

RACE PREVIEW: DETROIT

Naoki Hattori: "I have heard that the Mid-Ohio is the most physical track in the CART series. Also, I experienced some of that when I had a 2-day-test in Mid-Ohio with Gil and I drove about 500 miles. I know this track is much more challenging, but I am looking forward to the challenge and to push myself to my physical limit over here. Fortunately, my left leg is getting better and better, day by day, and I hope to show a much better performance at Mid-Ohio this time. I will be more aggressive in my driving since I am now more ready mentally since experiencing my first race last week in Detroit. So the words for this coming weekend in Mid-Ohio are 'push, push, and push'.

Naoki Hattori - 1999 Driver Index Report - Car # 15

Race Qualify Start Finish Race Points Total Miami - Homestead 12th 12th (dnf)25th 0 0 Detroit-Michigan 26th 26th 16th 0 0

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Naoki Hattori , Greg Moore