CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Team Motorola preview

INDIANAPOLIS, In.-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are looking forward to a change in luck this weekend at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland held on the 2.106-mile circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport.  After a mechanical failure at...

INDIANAPOLIS, In.-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are looking forward to a change in luck this weekend at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland held on the 2.106-mile circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport.  After a mechanical failure at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago and an eleventh place finish in Toronto last weekend the team and Andretti are hoping to re-ignite their efforts.  "We've had two pretty tough weekends at Team Motorola," said general manager Kim Green.  "Although we earned points in Toronto we've still got work to do to get a handle on the Lola and we're hoping that we'll be able to do that in Cleveland."

Andretti is a fan of the airport circuit in downtown Cleveland and although he has led 101 laps at the Burke Lakefront Airport, Andretti has only been able to capitalize on those lead laps on one occasion in 1991.  In addition to his victory, Andretti has also had six podium finishes in Cleveland and is certain a return to victory circle would be just the medicine the doctor ordered to cure Team Motorola's ills of late.  "I've always enjoyed racing in Cleveland," said Andretti.  "It's a good track for wide open racing and as a driver, you get a chance to let your hair down a bit.  Let's hope we can take what we've been learning about the Lola to Cleveland and turn that knowledge into a victory or podium finish."

Andretti and Team Motorola are in 11th place in the championship hunt with 36 points while Cristiano daMatta has capitalized on his four race wins in a row to take a commanding lead in the championship with 118 points.  Bruno Junqueira has held on to second place with 70 points despite not finishing in Toronto and Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti rounds out the top three in the championship with 64 points.  Paul Tracy, also a technical partner of Michael's, is in tenth place with 36 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 298 and laps led with 6,563.

Practice for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland begins on Friday morning at 11:45 a.m. ET with provisional qualifying at 3:45 p.m. ET Friday and final qualifying will follow on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET.  The race will be shown live on CBS Sunday, July 14 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

-tm-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kim Green , Cristiano da Matta