CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas Racing Laguna Seca Friday practice notes

Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Friday, October 12, 2001 da Matta 10th in Practice and Fittipaldi 16th for Honda GP of Monterey FASTEST: Helio Castroneves 1:08.838 117.040 mph 10th Cristiano da Matta 1:10.140 114.867 mph 16th Christian Fittipaldi...

Honda Grand Prix of Monterey
Friday, October 12, 2001

da Matta 10th in Practice and Fittipaldi 16th for Honda GP of Monterey

FASTEST: Helio Castroneves 1:08.838 117.040 mph
10th Cristiano da Matta 1:10.140 114.867 mph
16th Christian Fittipaldi 1:10.533 114.227 mph

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We are working hard to come up with more grip so we can go faster. My car had so much of everything in it that it is hard to work on any specific thing. First we have to make the car just oversteer or just understeer before we can find more grip. I enjoy driving on this track because of the elevation changes. It's definitely more fun when you have the car working good though."

(On three days of cycling in Marin County:) "The trails were great. I had a great time and got some training in as well. I'm not sure if I am going to go back to Marin County to cycle after the race until I leave for Australia on Thursday or cycle in the LA area. Either way, it will be a good time."

* NOTE: Won the season opening race on the road course race in Monterrey, Mexico and led the Championship for the first four races. Will be his third Champ car race here and first with NHR. Best finish at this track is a victory in his first race at this track -- the 1997 Indy Lights event. In 1999 Champ car race here he retired due to oil pressure failure. Finished 15th in 2000.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "The car is not very good right now but everyone will work hard to come up with a better setup so we can qualify well and make the car better for the race. Even though this is a road course, it's tough to pass here so you need a car that is much better than the rest. We are already at a disadvantage because we are in the slow group for qualifying but that's the way it goes."

* NOTE: Will be his sixth event here. Highest finish is ninth in 1998 and highest start was an eighth place in 2000 and 1996. Ran as high as fifth place in last year's event despite battling flu-like symptoms all weekend but pit strategy dropped him to a 10th place finish. Is currently 13th place in the Championship with 61 to leader Gil de Ferran, 163.

Qualifying for the Shell 300 will air 2 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2. CART 2Day airs 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN2, while ESPN's live race broadcast of the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, round 19 of 21, begins 4 p.m. ET. Twenty of 21 FedEx Championship Series events are being televised live on ABC-TV or ESPN and 18 are being televised live on Eurosport, a European network that reaches 250 million viewers in 54 countries. Sunday's race will also air on the CART Radio Network - which will provide audio to nearly one million American servicemen and women worldwide through the American Forces Radio Network - and on CART's official website, which will also carry Friday's qualifying, at www.cart.com .

Following the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, the series will make its final international trip of the season when they travel to Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia for the Honda Indy 300 on October 28. The 2001 season-finale Marlboro 500 will take place on November 4 in Fontana, Calif. Kmart driver Christian Fittipaldi is the defending winner.

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Christian Fittipaldi , Cristiano da Matta