CHAMPCAR/CART: Rockingham Thursday summary

CORBY, England (September 20, 2001) - Wet track conditions forced postponement of Thursday's scheduled test day for the inaugural Rockingham 500, Round 17of the FedEx Championship Series, at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Two days of rain, coupled...

CORBY, England (September 20, 2001) - Wet track conditions forced postponement of Thursday's scheduled test day for the inaugural Rockingham 500, Round 17of the FedEx Championship Series, at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

Two days of rain, coupled with chilly temperatures, made it impossible to dry the 1.5-mile oval in time for either of Thursday's scheduled testing sessions. Friday's amended schedule calls for morning practice from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. local time, followed by an afternoon practice from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The starting grid for Saturday's Rockingham 500, scheduled for 210 laps, will be based on the times from Friday afternoon's practice session, provided certain green-flag time requirements are satisfied. Should those time requirements not be met, the starting grid will be based on championship points.

Kenny Brack (Shell Ford Lola) of Team Rahal arrives in England as the FedEx Championship Series championship leader, with 131 points. He owns a series high four victories this season, including one last Saturday at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany.

Grouped within 20 points of Brack are a trio of drivers including defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran (Honda Reynard) of Team Penske, with 120 points; Michael Andretti (Motorola Honda Reynard) of Team Motorola, with 115; and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves (Honda Reynard) of Team Penske, with 111. All three will be looking for their first oval victories of the season this weekend.

The Rockingham 500 is Round 17 of 21 in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. The series visits seven countries and four continents during the season and climaxes with the season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Sunday, Nov. 4 at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Thanks to a partnership between Marlboro, Toyota, CART and California Speedway, the winner of the season finale will collect $1 million, one of the richest paydays in all of motorsports. Christian Fittipaldi (Kmart Toyota Lola) of Newman/Haas Racing is the defending event champion. An additional $1 million, as well as the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup, will be awarded to the driver who wins the FedEx Championship Series championship.

WHAT'S NOTEWORTHY

* According to Dr. Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi was awake and talking Thursday at Berlin Marzahn hospital, but remained on pain medication for the injuries he sustained in Saturday's race accident at The American Memorial in Lausitz, Germany. Zanardi, who lost both legs in the accident, is expected to have his final surgery to inspect and clean the injured areas Friday. His condition continues to improve on a daily basis.

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Christian Fittipaldi , Alex Zanardi , Kenny Brack
Teams Team Penske