INDIANAPOLIS, In.--A refreshed Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are in final preparations for the CART Grand Prix of Chicago to be held this weekend. "It was really nice to have a few days off to re-group and get geared up for ...
INDIANAPOLIS, In.--A refreshed Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are in final preparations for the CART Grand Prix of Chicago to be held this weekend. "It was really nice to have a few days off to re-group and get geared up for Chicago," said Andretti. "Now we need to turn our focus to this next stretch of races and put some points in the bank for the championship battle. It's also sort of a home race for the team since our sponsors Motorola, Archipelago and Klein Tools are based in Chicago."
Team Motorola, having recently switched to the Lola chassis, is currently in seventh place in the CART FedEx Championship race. "We've had to score some tough points in the last few races," said general manager Kim Green. "Our cars weren't exactly what we were looking for but we've kept working hard on that and are looking forward to a good weekend in Chicago."
The CART Grand Prix of Chicago will be the first two-day event of the season and that will present a unique set of challenges for Team Motorola as Kim Green explained. "A two-day event puts everybody under the gun to get their car well balanced and ready for qualifying and in race trim. But I believe our experience from Milwaukee, where we had a very good car, will be very relative and helpful in Chicago."
Andretti has had mixed results in Chicago, finishing second in 2000 and then last year having a mechanical failure end his day early and in 24th place. "Chicago can be a tough track," remarked Andretti. "You need your car to be working well and starting position is important so we've got a little bit of pressure on ourselves to get in there on Saturday and get things right--quickly."
Although Michael and Team Motorola are in seventh place in the championship, they are only twenty points out of second place. "The competition in CART is fierce," said Andretti. "That is why it's so critical to finish every race and more importantly finish in the points." Cristiano daMatta is currently in first place in the championship race with 74 total points after victories in Laguna and Portland while Bruno Junqueira has moved into second place with 54 points. Michel Jourdain also has 54 points but is in third place since Bruno has scored a victory and Michel has not. Dario Franchitti, Michael's technical partner, is in fourth place with 49 points while Paul Tracy, Michael's second technical partner, is in ninth place with 32 points.
Andretti is in his19th Champ Car season and currently leads all active Champ Car drivers in number of wins at 42, number of poles at 32, number of starts with 296 and laps led with 6,563.
The CART Grand Prix of Chicago will be a two-day event with practice beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, June 29 and qualifying following at 1:45 p.m. The race will be shown live on CBS beginning Sunday, June 30 at 1:30 p.m. ET.