CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterey: Team Motorola Friday report

MONTEREY, California (June 7, 2002)--Kim Green, general manger of Team Motorola, summed up today's practice session and provisional qualifying session for the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey with two words;  "learning curve".  The team was ...

MONTEREY, California (June 7, 2002)--Kim Green, general manger of Team Motorola, summed up today's practice session and provisional qualifying session for the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey with two words;  "learning curve".  The team was running their Lola chassis for the first time on a road course and there was definitely a lot of new data for the team to sort through.  "I wouldn't say we're lost with our set-up," said driver Michael Andretti.  "But we're definitely on a steep learning curve and today, we learned a lot."  The team ran 20 laps in the morning session and 14 of their 15 allotted laps this afternoon and although their times didn't reflect it, Michael feels they are moving in the right direction. "It's really about taking little steps to keep making improvements to the car and I don't think there's a magical solution overnight that will make the car fast but if we keep chipping away, we'll be alright."

Team Motorola finished today's provisional qualifying session in 17th position with a time of 1:11.577 seconds while Kenny Brack took the provisional pole and one championship point with a time of 1:10.066 seconds.  Cristiano DaMatta finished in second place with a time of 1:10.103 seconds and Patrick Carpentier rounded out the top three with a time of 1:10.218 seconds.  Michael Andretti's technical partners Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti finished 13th and 19th respectively in today's provisional qualifying with times of 1:11.172 seconds and 1.12.102 respectively.  Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with final qualifying to follow at 1:45 p.m. PST.

Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I wouldn't say we're lost right now on our set-up but I would definitely say we're in a steep learning curve and we learned a lot today with the Lola chassis.  We improved it a bit today, but we still have a long way to go.  The one thing we did do was leave ourselves room for improvement this weekend. Hopefully, we can continue to go out and learn and keep making little steps that improve the car. There's no big giant steps, we just need to get all the little things right and the lap times will come."

Sunday will be Michael's 295th start of his career.
In 2001, Michael started 16th and finished 14th in this race.
Michael leads all active Champ Car drivers with 294 race starts, 42 wins, 32 poles and 6,563 laps led. <pre> Friday Practice Friday Provisional Qualifying Position 21st Position 17th Speed 110.538 mph Speed 112.561 mph Time 1:12.887 seconds Time 1:11.577 seconds </pre> Kim Green -- General Manager
"Today's outing you can sum up in two words:  learning curve.  That's what we're facing right now with the new Lola chassis.  It's our first opportunity to run the Lola on a road course and we should be better than we are today because I know we're capable of making the car go faster.  Now we've got to work hard to figure out what the car likes and what our driver, Michael, likes for Laguna Seca and claw our way back up the grid.  We're up against very steep competition and teams that have a lot of experience with these race cars.  We just have to work hard and I know that Team Motorola is capable of doing just that."

-tm-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Kim Green