CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi, Andretti topp eight at Vancouver Friday


CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola:
TIME: 1:01.806

Fittipaldi has run in the top-four in the past seven races but only finished twice which were 3rd place finishes. Did not compete in Vancouver last year due to a testing accident at the Gateway. Best finish at Vancouver was a third place finish in 1996. Will be making his fifth start here. Has always run well here but has struggled in qualifying, posting a best effort of 12th place in 1998, his last event here.

"The car is just "OK." Especially on the second set of tires when we had too much understeer. In general it doesn't feel bad but it is no where as quick as Dario and Gil. Other than those two, I think we are close to everyone else. We will think tonight about the set-up and keep working to make the car better for qualifying and the race. The track is slippery because of the rain, then with the track drying, then the rain again. It is taking longer for the track to come in compared to other places. Except for Dario and Gil, I think we're close to everyone. I enjoy racing in Vancouver. It is always good to come back here. I hope to end the weekend on a high note. We have been competitive this season and it's only a matter of time until we win one. It would be great to win here in Vancouver."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, # 6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth Lola
TIME: 1:01:924

Soon after arriving in Vancouver, Andretti kept his annual tradition of eating sushi at Tsunami Sushi on Robson St. He has "swept" the Canadian races by winning in Toronto AND Vancouver in 1991 and 1992 and will be hoping to do so again this year after winning his second race of the season at Toronto earlier this summer. Will be his 10th start at Vancouver. Has won three races (1991, 1992, and 1996) and scored a second place finish in 1998 and a third place finish in '94. He has five top-10 finishes at Vancouver. Also has scored three poles here in '90, '91, and '92. Has led a total of 321 laps at Vancouver.

"We were on a quicker lap that would have put us fourth fastest but I backed off because the team told me that I wouldn't make it to the checkered flag in time. Unfortunately we would have made it but that's how it goes. I wanted that lap though. I didn't get the most out of the car but we still have tomorrow to keep improving. It would be nice to win both Canadian races again for the third time. Not only for the fact that it would be great, but to also score some points for the Championship. There are still six races to go but you have to be thinking about the Championship in the back of your mind. Consistency will be the key to winning the Championship since it is so tight right now and a number of guys would win it."

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Series IndyCar