CHAMPCAR/CART: NHR EuroSpeedway Lausitz Thursday notes

FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE GERMAN 500 CANCELED DUE TO CONSTANT LIGHT RAIN NOTES: The CART FedEx Championship Series was unable to take to the track today for the inaugural German 500 due to constant light rain. Due to the inability to hold...

FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE GERMAN 500 CANCELED DUE TO CONSTANT LIGHT RAIN

NOTES: The CART FedEx Championship Series was unable to take to the track today for the inaugural German 500 due to constant light rain. Due to the inability to hold the two practice sessions today, CART revised the schedule for tomorrow to include two practice sessions that total three hours rather than the usual morning practice session followed by qualifying in the afternoon. The starting grid for Saturday's German 500 will be based on point standings.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "It's a shame that we couldn't give the fans any on-track action to watch today. They were very enthusiastic despite the rain. Hopefully the weather will clear up tomorrow."

* NOTE: Only 37 points out of first place in the Championship while in seventh. Will be his first Champ car race in Germany. Racing history in Germany...Competed in two events at Hockenheim (running 6th and CV joint broke, qualified 5th but crashed in first turn) and one at Nurburgring (9th) - all in F3000 in 1996.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "It was great to see the number of fans camping when I came into the track. It's too bad the weather didn't cooperate today. Having to rely on the weather is a downside of racing on ovals. Based on the enthusiasm of the fans that I talked to today, I think we can grow this race into a big event for the Europeans."

Â* NOTE: Is currently 59 points back from first place in the Championship standings in 12th place with 56 to leader Gil de Ferran, 115. Racing history in Germany...Finished 4th in the 1994 F1 race; finished 8th in the 1993 F1 race and finished 4th in the 1991 F3000 race - all at the Hockenheim track.

The German 500 will mark the first European event sanctioned by Championship Auto Racing Teams in the organization's 23-year history. The German 500, round 16 of 21, will air live in the United States on ESPN, beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday. The race will also air live locally on ARD, Germany's dominant television network, beginning at 1:03 p.m. 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. A total of eight international broadcasters will be televising Saturday's German 500, including TV Azteca of Mexico; Automundo of South America; Rede Record of Brazil; Innovative Media of Canada; NTV of Japan; Channel 10 of Australia; SVT of Sweden and Mediaset of Italy. Saturday'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 .

-NHR

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran