CHAMPCAR/CART: Chicago Ford Racing Saturday Report

FORD FACTS * This is the third pole for Ford-Cosworth this season (Rio, Elkhart Lake). * This is the first pole for Team Rahal on an oval since Bobby Rahal's pole in Milwaukee on June 27, 1992 MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite ...


* This is the third pole for Ford-Cosworth this season (Rio, Elkhart Lake). * This is the first pole for Team Rahal on an oval since Bobby Rahal's pole in Milwaukee on June 27, 1992

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 1st - "All along we have been working on consistency, working on getting good cars. We knew in qualifying we were going to have to pull out a special one to get the pole. On the first lap, I pushed a little bit too hard and had a big wiggle and on the second lap I knew I was going to have to lean on it to get the pole. Over the last three days we have really been working on getting a good race car. Today was my first pole and it is a very special occasion." HOW DOES THIS POLE EQUATE TO YOUR DAYS IN SPORTSCARS WHEN YOU REGULARLY SAT ON THE POLE? "When I was with Ferrari I was use to being on pole position and I really miss the feeling. Being right there on the top has some personal satisfaction to it. As you all know it really only counts on the race but when you get the pole position, you know you are the best for today. When I came here to the U.S. for the first time it was kind of difficult because I came here replacing Jeff (Krosnoff), and all the time I have him in my mind. I know sometimes that people forget about him, but he is always with me. An unfortunate situation allowed me to get my break. The team around you brings out the best in the driver and we have a very motivating team and I am motivated as well." WHEN YOU CAME HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME HOW DIFFICULT DID YOU THINK THE OVALS WERE GOING TO BE TO DRIVE? "When I first came here for the first time I knew the ovals were going to be tough. The race pace is completely different. Before I raced here I had to learn all the things about driving certain track by myself. When I came here the first time I was able to talk to guys like Jimmy (Vasser) and Al Unser, Jr. and they would tell me some things. They would not tell me everything but they would tell me little secrets. That says a lot about the sport."

BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 7th - "This was the fastest lap we have run all weekend so I am happy." YOU HAVE NOT RUN THAT WELL ON THE OVALS THIS YEAR, BUT THIS TRACK AS ELEMENTS OF A ROAD COURSE IN IT. IS THAT THE DIFFERENCE? "I like then all. Our performance on the ovals this year is not really what we had been hoping for. It's good to have success on the ovals though."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 18th - "We just can't get a lap in. The car is not bad on long runs, I just can't qualify the thing. But I think we are going to be good for the race tomorrow." IS IT AN ISSUE WITH THE TRACK? "No, it is just getting the car to suit my driving style. We will have to get them tomorrow."

ROBERTO MORENO -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 8th - "We came out and the car was constant. It's nice to come to a track where no one has tested before. We are starting out at the same level as everyone else. The Ford engine is good here and I hope we can put it together tomorrow. When I race at places where people test I have a big handicap. We have been working all weekend at making the car as comfortable as possible for the race, then we try and squeeze a little bit of speed out of it."

P.J. JONES -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 14th - "For starters, my name this weekend is Pedro Hones not P.J. It's in honor of Adrian (Fernandez) who is home recuperating. My car is not bad. We struggled a bit this morning and really throughout the weekend. I didn't think we would run this quick but it is nice to do it in qualifying." HAS THIS TRACK CAUGHT PEOPLE BY SURPRISE? "Well, it is not so much that. I think it is just a situation of not testing here and it may take some teams a little longer to get the car sorted out."

JAN MAGNUSSEN -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 16th - "I am a lot more comfortable in the car today than yesterday. The change to the Reynard was a good one and it is turning out to be a little better car. It was the right decision." CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN? "The car was good enough to put up a better time but I was a bit cautious with the lap. I got into the power a bit too late and it cost us. Tomorrow I think we can move through the field steadily."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR -19- Herdez Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 20th - "The car is a little bit better today than it was yesterday but, it's still loose entering the corners. We also pick up a little push at the exit. I think we can make the car better throughout the race tomorrow and take the Herdez /Viva Mexico car up to the front."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Al Unser Sr.