CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi, da Matta Houston Friday practice

NOTE: The first session of the day was run in dry conditions while the afternoon session was run on a wet track after afternoon showers came. While the cars were on track for the afternoon session, light rain fell intermittently. CHRISTIAN ...

NOTE: The first session of the day was run in dry conditions while the afternoon session was run on a wet track after afternoon showers came. While the cars were on track for the afternoon session, light rain fell intermittently.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "I am very happy with the car. The car was good straight off of the truck. We made a lot of changes to our car compared to the last street course. It is more like how the car was at the beginning of the season and it was good then. I was happy with the "wet" setup and I was going to finish that lap and park it but I ended up parking it in a different spot. I ran out of talent and parked it in the tires instead. I didn't damage the car much. I just knocked off an end plate on the front winglet. We probably could have gotten back out but there was nothing we could learn with the track the way it was. Overall I think we had a decent day and we will continue to work on making the car better for the race. Qualifying will be tough for me because I am in the "slow group" and the track conditions get better with each lap. The weather could be a big factor too if it rains in one session and not the other."

· NOTE: Has run in the top-five in all three previous events here. Will be his fourth event here. Finished 6th in 2000; ran in second late in the 1999 race before having to pit for a splash of fuel and finishes 7th; fastest in the race morning warm-up in 1998 and started fifth but was hit by the spinning car of polesitter Greg Moore in the rain and finished 27th. Is currently 91 points back from first place in the Championship standings in 13th place with 54 to leader Kenny Brack, 147.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We have been working hard all season to get the car so that it suits my driving style but we still have not quite gotten there yet. The car wasn't very good this morning and we tried a bunch of different things in the afternoon session but it is hard to tell which things worked well with the wet track conditions changing. It was raining on and off so it was hard to tell the difference. It was pretty slick. Like everyone else, I had a couple of "offs." I went into the runoff area in Turn 1 twice and once into the runoff area in Turn 3. It is definitely better to go into the runoff than into the barriers."

· NOTE: Will be his third event in Houston and first with NHR as well as first as the "Texaco/Havoline" driver in the Texaco/Havoline-sponsored race. Is currently only 55 points out of first place in the Championship with 92 with four races to go.

The Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, round 18 of 21, will air live on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 7. Twenty of 21 FedEx Championship Series events are being televised live on ABC-TV or ESPN and 18 are being televised live on Eurosport, a European network that reaches 250 million viewers in 54 countries. Sunday's race will also air on the CART Radio Network - which will provide audio to nearly one million American servicemen and women worldwide through the American Forces Radio Network - and on CART's official website, which will also carry Friday's qualifying, at www.cart.com .

Following the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, the series heads west for the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, Featuring the Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. on October 14, before making a transoceanic trip to Surfer's Paradise, Australia for the Honda Indy 300 on October 28. The 2001 season-finale Marlboro 500 will take place on November 4 in Fontana, Calif. Kmart driver Christian Fittipaldi is the defending winner.

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Kenny Brack , Greg Moore