CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana: Fernandez Racing qualifying report

Max Papis, Driver -- ...

Max Papis, Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 10th 31.798 = 229.713 mph

"I think we did a very good job. We took the best out of the car. That was it. That was what we had. We were pretty comfortable, with maybe a tiny bit of understeer in the car. I am very pleased with what we have done up to now even though I didn't have enough time to work on everything I wanted. Hopefully, this time all we need is a little bit of luck even if we didn't get to experiment with everything. For tomorrow, I think we are in good shape. The car is not exactly as I want it to be compared to how I know the car should feel. Hopefully we will find it tonight. We just have to think about all the things we have done and make the best compromise."

FAST FACTS:  Will be making his sixth Champ Car appearance at California Speedway and his 106th Champ Car career start-- posted podium finishes of second last year and in 1999-- best starting position was second in 1999-- scored podium finishes in two of six races contested this season, finishing third at Long Beach and Milwaukee-- last Champ Car race was the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio on August 11-- finished sixth in the championship last year-- has three Champ Car career wins - Homestead (2000), Portland (2001) and Laguna Seca (2001) - and two pole positions, Chicago (1999) and Portland (2001)-- currently sits 18th in the championship with 32 points.

Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 12th  31.836 229.438 mph

"We were flat during qualifying but I think I made a wrong decision to use sixth gear instead of fifth. I think if I had stayed in fifth gear, I could have gone a little bit faster -- maybe not as fast as Max, but a little bit faster. I made a mistake, but the car was okay for qualifying. We were flat all the way around with no problem, but we just weren't fast enough. I don't know why and we need to find something for tomorrow. I never got the feeling 'this is it' and I want to find it for tomorrow morning. Otherwise, it is going to be very difficult to run a long race like this. I am confident we will find something."

FAST FACTS:  Will be making his third Champ Car appearance at California Speedway and his 55th career Champ Car start -- started 12th last year but retired with a mechanical problem on Lap 120 and was credited with 21st place-- posted his career-best oval result at Chicago this season with a fifth-place finish-- career-best oval starting position was sixth at Milwaukee this year-- has 19 oval starts to his credit, posting four top-10 results-- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing-- currently sits 16th in the championship with 43 points.

Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:

"I am very pleased with the performance so far. I don't think we have an ideal setup, but we are much closer today than we were yesterday so that is good progress. I have faith in [engineers] Dave [Watson] and Martin [Pare] to sort that out tonight with the drivers. With the Handford device, obviously tomorrow is about drafting, 500 miles, staying on the lead lap for 400 miles, and adjusting your car during the day to where you can have a hundred-mile shoot-out at the end. We want to position ourselves so that we are in the top five with 50 laps to go, and have a chance to win this thing tomorrow."

For more information, please visit Additional information on Max Papis can be found at For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Shinji Nakano , Tom Anderson
Teams ART Grand Prix