DENVER, Co. (August 30, 2002)-- Under blue skies and warm temperatures Team Motorola driver Michael Andretti returned to the streets of downtown Denver in preparation for Sunday's Denver Grand Prix. "They've definitely made improvements to the ...
DENVER, Co. (August 30, 2002)-- Under blue skies and warm temperatures Team Motorola driver Michael Andretti returned to the streets of downtown Denver in preparation for Sunday's Denver Grand Prix. "They've definitely made improvements to the layout of this track since we were here in '91," said Andretti. "Now we've got a nice long straightaway but Turn 5 looks like it is going to be interesting and I can see a lot of contact happening there on Sunday."
Andretti and Team Motorola utilized a slightly different qualifying strategy this afternoon in the hopes of getting a clear lap on the 1.65-mile track. "I think we had a good strategy this afternoon," said general manager Kim Green. "But we need to improve the race car in order to take advantage of it." The team was first on the track and completed six laps and then waited until late in the session to complete their final laps. Andretti's best time of the session was 63.432 seconds and put him in 10th place for provisional qualifying.
Adrian Fernandez is on provisional pole with a time of 62.073 seconds, while Christian Fittipaldi was second quick at 62.440 seconds and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top three qualifiers with a time of 62.454 seconds. Michael's technical partners Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy were 12th and 13th respectively. Franchitti's time was 63.619 seconds and Tracy's was 63.632 seconds. Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with final qualifying to follow at 1:45 p.m. MT. Sunday's 115-lap race is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. and will be shown live on SpeedChannel television.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"Team Motorola had a very good strategy today for our provisional qualifying. I was able to get some clear laps in but unfortunately we weren't quite on the pace with our race car so we didn't really capitalize on our strategy. The track is still pretty slippery and we need to do some work on our set-up to get the car better under braking and over the bumps. This track will certainly make for an interesting race on Sunday. They've improved the layout since 1991 and given us a nice long straightaway but Turn 5 is going to be interesting. I can see a lot of contact happening in that particular corner."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"The race track is certainly a challenge not only for braking and accelerating but also for getting over the bumps. We tried a lot of changes during the session and really didn't improve the race car very much. We're going to need to look hard at what we can do to get the car more comfortable over the bumps and under acceleration and in doing that, we will gain a lot of time. I think there are others who are struggling with the same issues and not everyone got the best out of their race cars today. I do think we had a good strategy today on getting our laps in but we definitely need to improve the race car."