CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi, da Matta Toronto Friday notes

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ...

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola:  "We had a trouble free day up until the last 30 minutes of the second session.  The car has been good since we unloaded.  We ran old tires this morning and that's why we didn't go any faster than we did.  We have the same number of tires as we had last season but run much more so you have to conserve your tires.  In the second session I made a mistake and over revved the engine big time.  We had to park the race car and get in the back-up car with 30 minutes to go.  I'm pretty confident off a good run here.  I think we have a very good set-up for qualifying.  If you qualify in the top-four or six, you definitely have a good chance of doing well here.  Toronto is one of the places that you need to qualify up front in order to win."

· NOTE:  Fittipaldi's race engineer, Todd Bowland, is absent from the event due to an illness in the family.  Data Acquisition Engineer, Tom smith, is assuming the role of Race Engineer for Fittipaldi.  He is currently 36 points back from first place in the CART point standings with 48 points to leader Kenny Brack, 84.  Will be his seventh start in Toronto where his highest start was fifth place in 1998 and 1999.  In 2000, he was in fourth place before contact in the pits dropped him to 17th.  He finished third in 1999.  Started fifth and led one lap in 1998 but Gil de Ferran, who was pitted beside him, hit one of his tires that was to be put on his car and he finished 16th.   Dropped from 13th to 28 after a mistake by the polesitter led to a turn one, lap one incident.  He charged back to an 11th place finish.  Finished seventh and ninth, respectively, in 1996 and 1995.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola:  "The car is not too good, not too bad.  It feels like I am driving a car that should be in 15th place but it doesn't seem to be that slow.  If I had a car like this last year, I would have been 22nd or 23rd fast but we were still in the top-10.  My run on new tires wasn't very good.  We have some work to do before qualifying for sure.  I like driving this course.  It's challenging.  We have had a good car for the street races so far this season so I am confident we will improve the car for qualifying."

· NOTE: Is currently 29 points out of first place in the CART standings with 55 points to leader Kenny Brack, 84. Will be his third Champ car race in here and first with NHR.  Da Matta led his first CART race in the '00 event here.  Led 73 laps but finished fourth after being beat out of the pits by eventual winner Michael Andretti, among others. Finished 24th in '99 due to contact.

Qualifying for the Molson Indy Toronto will air 5:00 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN2. CART 2Day airs 11 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2, while ESPN-TV's live race broadcast begins 1 p.m. ET. 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 and on CART's official website, at www.cart.com .

-NHR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Kenny Brack