LAUSITZ, Germany (September 13, 2001) - Daylong rains forced cancellation of Thursday's scheduled test sessions for the inaugural German 500, Round 16 of the FedEx Championship Series, on the two-mile EuroSpeedway oval. Weather permitting, ...
LAUSITZ, Germany (September 13, 2001) - Daylong rains forced cancellation of Thursday's scheduled test sessions for the inaugural German 500, Round 16 of the FedEx Championship Series, on the two-mile EuroSpeedway oval.
Weather permitting, Friday's activities will begin with a two-hour Champ Car practice session at 9:30 a.m. local time, followed by a one-hour afternoon session at 1:30 p.m. local time. CART competition officials made the decision to forego qualifying in the interest of giving teams and drivers more on-track experience at EuroSpeedway, a brand new FedEx Championship Series venue where no Champ Car drivers have ever competed.
The starting grid for Saturday's race will be based on championship points. Defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran (Honda Reynard) of Team Penske will sit on the pole, alongside Kenny Brack (Shell Ford Lola) of Team Rahal.
De Ferran leads the FedEx Championship Series with 115 points. He will receive credit for a career pole position, his 14th, but will not receive the championship point that is awarded for a pole earned on the race track.
Brack and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves (Honda Reynard) of Team Penske are tied for second place in the championship with 110 points, but Brack earns the tie-breaker based on higher race finishes.
Michael Andretti (Motorola Honda Reynard) of Team Motorola, who stands fourth in the championship with 103 points, is the only driver who has not yet arrived at the Lausitzring due to travel restrictions in the United States. Andretti, CART's all-time victory leader (41), is in his hometown of Nazareth, Pa. and has a private plane on standby for departure as soon as the Federal Aviation Administration allows travel. Arrangements have also been made to fly him commercially if that is the first option.
Following the cancellation of Thursday's activities, CART conducted a one-hour, All-Driver Autograph Session for the several thousands of fans who were in attendance.
The German 500 is Round 16 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.