CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi Toronto/Michigan preview

Fittipaldi's highest finish in Toronto is 3rd place and the team is the Defending Winner of the event. Looking ahead to the event in Michigan, Fittipaldi si the reigning 500-mile winner. NHR finished 2nd in the MIS event last season (with ...

Fittipaldi's highest finish in Toronto is 3rd place and the team is the Defending Winner of the event.

Looking ahead to the event in Michigan, Fittipaldi si the reigning 500-mile winner. NHR finished 2nd in the MIS event last season (with Andretti) and went on to win the other 500-mile event at California Speedway (with Fittipaldi).

Newman/Haas Statistics for Toronto:

FIVE WINS, A POLE, AND 10 PODIUMS IN TORONTO FOR NHR: The team has won five races (Michael Andretti - 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2000), one pole (Mi. Andretti 1991), and 10 podium finishes (Mario Andretti - 3rd in '86 and 2nd in '91; Mi. Andretti - 2nd in '90 and '98; Christian Fittipaldi - 3rd in '99) in Toronto.

SECOND MOST SUCCESSFUL TEAM IN CART: Currently in their 19th season, Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) is the second most successful team with 59 victories and 63 poles. Marlboro Team Penske has 106 wins (93 in CART) in their 32nd

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION IN TORONTO: The husband/wife hospitality team of Peter and Mary-Lin Murphy created an organized system for donation of the leftover food from all CART hospitality areas at the conclusion of each race weekend excluding the four overseas events. Second Harvest is the recipient of approx. 5,000 meals from the race this weekend thanks in part to a truck donated by Rentway Leasing, which is owned and operated by Penske Leasing.

Christian Fittipaldi, No. 11 Kmart Toyota-Lola:

IN TORONTO: Fittipaldi's top finish here is a 3rd place in 1999. Has made three top-10 finishes here.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.

36 POINTS OUT OF FIRST IN 2001 CHAMPIONSHIP: Is 8th in the point standings with 48 points, only 36 points back from first (22 max. per weekend) place Kenny Brack with 84. Ran in the top-five in five events this season. Race ended in Mexico after he drove on a part of the track that was breaking up and finished 20th; was fastest in the pre-race warm-up in Long Beach but finished 24th after experiencing an electrical problem due to an installation error; finished 5th at Nazareth; 4th at Japan; ran in fourth place in Milwaukee before an attempt to pass the lapped car of rookie Nicolas Minassian ended in contact between the two; finished 5th in Detroit; led seven laps and finished 3rd in Portland; capable of top-four start in Cleveland but rain during the fast group in qualifying dropped him to a 15th place start and he finished 11th.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "It has been a slow start to the season. I scored zero points the first two races which was bad, but apart from that, we have picked it up a lot. We could have qualified well in Cleveland but the rain changed things. We are coming along strong now with a lot of season and points left and we have been reasonably competitive and plan to continue that in Toronto. "Toronto is definitely one of those places where you need to be there for the end of the race. Surviving the whole race is key, but more important than that, you need to have a good car. We had a very good car the past two years there. In 1999, I finished third and last year the car was unbelievably strong and looking strong for a race win, but coming into the pits I hit Gil de Ferran and my race was finished. In 1998, Gil was pitted next to me and hit my tire that was just taken off of my car on his way out of the pits and broke his suspension. My crew guy had to chase the tire that rolled and it cost us a lot of time. I ran in third place most of the race in 1999 and Gil was pitted beside me again. He hit my rear tire on his way out on the final stop and the penalty dropped him to the back from second place but luckily I was able to get out of the pits and still finish third. We just need to have a trouble free race this year and be there at the end with a strong car.

"There is no doubt that Canada is a huge market for us. We have a lot of fans there plus the fact that Paul Tracy and the Players drivers are Canadian adds interest. I think that adds to the desire to have fans wanting to come to the races and support us. On top of all of that, the two Canadian races, Toronto and Vancouver, do a helluva job and we get treated very well. They set up the track well and one thing leads to another. They do an excellent job making the race an excellent event."

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY STATS

Newman/Haas Racing Fast Facts:

FOUR WINS, EIGHT PODIUM FINISHES AT MICHIGAN INTL.: The team has scored a total of six podium finishes at Michigan International Speedway, including four wins (Nigel Mansell - 1993; Michael Andretti - 1989; Mario Andretti - 1984*, 1984, *200 mile race ), two second place finishes (Ma. Andretti - 1993; Mi. Andretti 2000), two third place finishes (Ma. Andretti - 1986; Mi. Andretti - 1988), and four poles (Mansell - 1994; Mi. Andretti 1993, Ma. Andretti - 1992, 1984).

REIGNING 500-MILE RACE WINNER: NHR has won 38 of their 59 victories on ovals and 21 on road/street courses. The most recent oval victory was the 2000 season finale, The Marlboro 500 at Fontana, California, won by Christian Fittipaldi.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI AT MIS:

IN 500-MILE EVENTS: Is the reigning 500-mile winner after driving to victory in the 2000 season-ending Marlboro 500 at The California Speedway where he earned $1 million. Led 13 laps in 2000 race before going off course.

AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Hopes to score back-to-back 500-mile wins after his season-finale win at Fontana, California. Will be his eighth start here. Led 13 in 2000 before going off course. Fittipaldi's best Michigan International Speedway start was third last season and his strongest finish was eighth in 1999 after moving up from 22nd.

-NHR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Nicolas Minassian , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Kenny Brack , Nigel Mansell , Mario Andretti
Teams Team Penske