MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 24, 2002)-- Today's qualifying for the Molson Indy Montreal was not one of the better sessions for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti. Â Early in the qualifying session a shift sensor failed on the primary...
MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 24, 2002)-- Today's qualifying for the Molson Indy Montreal was not one of the better sessions for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti. Early in the qualifying session a shift sensor failed on the primary race car, which caused a major engine "over-rev". "We decided to play it safe at that point and go to our back up car," explained general manager Kim Green.
"Michael was then out in the back up car trying very hard to post a fast lap and unfortunately the car got away from him under heavy braking and he spun." By going to the back up car during qualifying, Team Motorola lost their fastest lap during the session and unfortunately Michael's spin kept him from completing his two final timed laps. The situation left the team in the final starting spot, 18th, for tomorrow's inaugural Molson Indy Montreal. "Today was a difficult day for Team Motorola," said Andretti. "I'm just counting on Kim (Green) and Tony (Cotman) to find a good alternative strategy to help us get to the front tomorrow."
Cristiano daMatta took his sixth pole of the season today with a time of 1:18.959 seconds while Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti will line up second based on his time of 1:19.334 seconds and Bruno Junqueira rounded out the top three with a time of 1:19.347 seconds. Michael's other technical partner Paul Tracy qualified tenth with a time of 1:19.871 seconds. Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with the 80-lap race, airing live on SpeedChannel, set to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"Today was a difficult day for Team Motorola. In our primary car we had a shift linkage break and it caused an engine "over-rev" so we went to our back up car just to be safe. Once we got out in the back up car, I was just trying really hard to post a fast lap and spun. It was a disappointment because the car was certainly better than it was yesterday and I think we had the potential to be much farther up the grid. As for tomorrow's race, I'm sure we'll try to adjust our strategy to take advantage of our starting position and I'm going to count on Kim (Green) and Tony (Cotman) to figure out just what that strategy is going to be. It will definitely be tough to get up front because, although you can pass here, the field is so close that it won't be easy."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"Well this is not what we wanted for our qualifying session. We had a shift sensor failure, which caused a major "over-rev" on our primary car so we had to go to our back up car. Actually, we were going pretty well and as usual, Michael was trying very, very hard and then had some trouble going into the hairpin under braking. He got a bit crossed up there and wasn't able to save it from a spin, so we ended up getting stuck down there until the end of qualifying. We certainly didn't have a pole position race car, we were striving for a top ten and I think with the back up car we would have gotten there. But now we'll get an opportunity to play with our tactics for tomorrow's race and gamble a bit with our strategy, which has paid off for us in the past."