CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi, da Matta on Mid-Ohio race


CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We came here and were confident of being competitive but didn't run as well as we thought we would and we need to figure out why and improve on it so it doesn't carry over to the other races. Everyone on this team are winners and that is what we are here to do. We just need to get the car working a little better and finish higher and we'll all be happier. We have always run in the top four in Elkhart Lake so hopefully we can score more points next weekend than we did today but overall I am happy to leave here with five points. I was just hanging in there the whole day and hoping the race would come to us on strategy."

· NOTE: Is currently 50 points back from first place in the point standings in 10th place with 54 to leader Kenny Brack, 104. Hoped to improve on last year's third place finish, which was his best ever at Mid-Ohio in five starts. Suffered engine failure in 1995; finished seventh in 1996; suffered transmission failure in 1997; finished 13th in 1998 after the team struggled; did not compete in 1999 after he suffered a subdural hemitoma from a testing accident caused by a gearbox failure; finished third in 2000 after starting fifth.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "On the last restart, (Oriol) Servia got a run on me on the restart and when everyone was braking in front of me in the turn and getting bottled up, he got passed. We weren't very good under braking today. We thought we would run much better here since we are back to road courses but we were able to come away with a few points. We'll keep working hard and try to discover something to regain our position at the front on road and street courses. There are eight races remaining and five of those are on road and street courses. The championship is very competitive and no one is going to take a break. The team has run well at Elkhart Lake in the past and we hope to be competitive again this year. Everyone is catching up to Kenny and there are a number of guys still in it for the Championship. I'm not thinking Championship anymore though. A top three or top-five finish would be good. I'm thinking more about working on the car set-ups and winning some races. Once we can do that the rest will take care of itself."

· NOTE: Only 34 points out of first place in the CART standings in seventh with 70 points to leader Kenny Brack who has 104. Was his third Champ car race at Mid-Ohio and first with NHR. Da Matta finished 17 last season after starting seventh as a result of contact with Tracy and Kanaan. Finished 9th in 1999. Has been strong on road courses this season.


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Kenny Brack