CHAMPCAR/CART: Mont?rr?y: Team Kool Green preview

Team Kool Green, Tracy, Franchitti Set To Begin 5th Season MONTERREY, Mexico - Team KOOL Green and drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti launch their fifth consecutive season together in CART FedEx Champ Car racing at this Sunday's Tecate...

Team Kool Green, Tracy, Franchitti Set To Begin 5th Season

MONTERREY, Mexico - Team KOOL Green and drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti launch their fifth consecutive season together in CART FedEx Champ Car racing at this Sunday's Tecate Telmex Grand Prix on the 2.1-mile road course in Monterrey, Mexico.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 15th / Finished 3rd at Monterrey in 2001)

"There have been some rule changes made this off-season that I think fit my style of driving, so I'm really looking forward to beginning the season. Getting rid of fuel economy runs and letting us run flat out all race is a great change. That's the way I like to drive and I'm sure the fans will like seeing everyone driving hard throughout the race. Opening the season in Monterrey will be fun, Team KOOL Green did a great job there last year, Dario and I both ran well and I even got a podium. You want to start the year off on a positive note and I hope I can be on the podium again this year. The atmosphere in Mexico is electric; even on Thursday when the cars aren't running there are people everywhere."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 7th / Finished 9th at Monterrey in 2001)

"With the limited testing Team KOOL Green is allowed nowadays the start of the season seems to come on pretty quick. I'm anxious to go racing and I'm excited about going to Mexico and starting the season. I think this year is going to be fun. I'm sure some people will be complaining about the new qualifying procedures and some people will think they're great. I'm looking forward to that first qualifying session, I think it is only right you get a point for being the fastest on Friday. I like what CART is doing; that they are trying different things, it shows that they are thinking about making the series better and trying to make progress, so that's good. Traction control is also going to come into play and that is going to be a new experience and it will be important in Mexico because the track there is so slippery. I ran traction control in Germany in the DTM (German Touring Car series) car so I have some experience with it but certainly there is going to be more stuff going on in the car and more work for the engineers. Team KOOL Green is going to Monterrey in a very positive frame of mind and we are going down there with the goal of winning the race."

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2002?

PAUL TRACY: A strict training regimen has the 18-time race winner considerably lighter than this time last year. Tracy achieved his remarkable results mainly by revving up his fitness program with 40-mile cycle rides. Tracy routinely put in 200 miles per week of road work on his Fondriest bicycle.

DARIO FRANCHITTI: Besides getting married in the off-season, Franchitti has a new race engineer this year in Allen McDonald. McDonald joined TKG from his previous position as technical director at PacWest. Prior to that he was an engineer for the Arrows, Stewart and Brabham Formula One teams.

HORSEPOWER: Turbo boost has been reduced from 37 to 34 inches, effectively reducing horsepower from 800+ to around 750 hp.

TRACTION CONTROL: Competitors are allowed to use traction control - which is generally a function of engine electronics that is used to sense and control wheel spin.

QUALIFYING: The return of Friday qualifying at road course races and a revised qualifying procedure that will see the fastest driver from each day of qualifying awarded a bonus point. Each race's pole winner will again be determined by the fastest lap of both Friday and Saturday qualifying sessions, but the provisional pole winner from Friday will be guaranteed a front row starting spot regardless of the outcome of final qualifying.

QUALIFYING PART II: Additional qualifying enhancements include the establishment of a maximum of 15 timed laps per session with a guaranteed 45 minutes (of a 60 minute session) of green flag time at road course events. All race cars will now qualify in one group. The penalty for creating a red flag situation in road course qualifying has also been changed. Drivers causing such conditions will now lose their fastest lap in that session rather than be parked for eight minutes in the pits as has been the case the last few seasons. Carry-over penalties to the next race have also been abolished.

CAUTION FLAGS: Race finishes under caution have also been addressed with CART committing to red flag stoppages for late-race incidents whenever possible. Extended full-course caution periods will also be minimized and CART will now follow the worldwide FIA standard for local caution flag periods whenever possible. This basically lengthens the on-track area of the local caution period from flag station to flag station while leaving the pits open.

WHERE
2.1-mile, 12-turn road course
Fundidora Park, Monterrey, Mexico

{TB@} WHEN Sunday, March 10, 2002

TV SCHEDULE - Speed Channel (All times EST ) Fri., March 8 9:00 p.m. CART Qualifying 1 10:30 p.m. CART Friday Night Sat., March 9 8:00 p.m. CART Qualifying 2 Sun., March 10 3:30 p.m. CART Pre-race Show 4:00 p.m. CART Race LIVE

WEEKEND SCHEDULE (All times local - CST)

Friday, March 8 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Champ Car Practice 1 2:10 - 3:10 p.m. Champ Car Qualifying 1 Saturday, March 9 10:00 - 11:15 a.m. Champ Car Practice 2 1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Champ Car Qualifying 2 Sunday, March 10 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Champ Car Warm Up 3:00 p.m. Champ Car Race

-tkg-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy