CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Detroit preview

Tenneco Automotive Detroit Grand Prix - Belle Isle - Detroit, MI WHEN: June 17, 2001 TRACK LAYOUT: 2.346-mile temporary street course RACE DISTANCE: 197.046 miles (84 laps) TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): ABC; 2:00 PM (live) DEFENDING CHAMPION: ...

Tenneco Automotive Detroit Grand Prix - Belle Isle - Detroit, MI

WHEN: June 17, 2001
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.346-mile temporary street course
RACE DISTANCE: 197.046 miles (84 laps)


DEFENDING POLESITTER: Juan Montoya (115.064 miles per hour; 1 minute, 13.056 seconds)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Juan Montoya (115.064 miles per hour; 1 minute, 13.056 seconds)

2001 DRIVER POINTS (5 races): BRACK (70), Helio Castroneves (47), Cristiano da Matta (40), Paul Tracy (40), Jimmy Vasser (40)
2001 MANUFACTURER POINTS (5 races): Honda (86), Toyota (84), FORD-COSWORTH (73)

BRACK CAPTURES SECOND CART VICTORY - After capturing his first career CART victory in Japan on May 19th, Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack wasted no time by winning his second consecutive Champ Car race in the Miller Lite 225 two weeks ago at the Milwaukee Mile. Brack led a race-high 130 laps, including the final 43, and held off repeated challenges by Michael Andretti to clinch the victory.

CONSECUTIVE WINS - With his back-to-back victories in the Firestone Firehawk 500 and the Miller Lite 225, Kenny Brack became the first Ford-powered driver to win consecutive CART races since Michael Andretti accomplished the feat in 1996. Andretti actually won consecutive races on two separate occasions that season, first in Milwaukee (June 2nd) and Detroit (June 9th), and then in Elkhart Lake (August 18th) and Vancouver (September 1st). Brack is also the first Ford-powered driver to win back-to-back CART events on oval tracks since 1993 when Nigel Mansell won at Michigan (August 1st) and New Hampshire (August 8th).

FORD-COSWORTH ON BELLE ISLE- Ford-Cosworth has scored five pole positions and won two races on Belle Isle since Ford re-entered Champ Car racing in 1992. Michael Andretti started from the pole in 1992, Nigel Mansell led the field to the green flag in both 1993 and 1994, Robby Gordon was the polesitter in 1995, while Scott Pruett was the last Ford-powered driver to sit on the pole in the Detroit Grand Prix. Gordon scored Ford-Cosworth's first victory on Belle Isle in 1995 when he won from the pole, while Michael Andretti recorded its second victory a year later in 1996.

BRACK EXTENDS LEAD IN DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP - With his victory in the Miller Lite 225 two weeks ago in Milwaukee, Kenny Brack (70 points) now has a 23-point advantage over Helio Castroneves (47 points) in the chase for the drivers' championship. Ford-Cosworth (73 points) also gained in the manufacturers' championship, and now trails Honda (86) by 13 points and Toyota (84) by 11 points.

FORD FAVORITES AT DETROIT - Although there are several drivers capable of winning a race in the FedEx Championship Series, Ford-Cosworth drivers Kenny Brack, Max Papis, Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani each stand a strong chance of sipping champagne this weekend. Here's a quick look at each of these drivers and why they should be considered favorites:

Kenny Brack - Heads to Detroit after capturing his second consecutive CART victory in the Miller Lite 225 two weeks ago in Milwaukee. Brack has scored three pole positions (Mexico, Texas and Milwaukee), two outside pole positions (Long Beach and Nazareth) and four top-five finishes in five races this season. In his first appearance on the temporary street circuit on Belle Isle a year ago, Brack qualified seventh but finished 24th after making contact with the wall on lap 10.

Max Papis - Has gained some momentum following a slow start and has now scored two straight points paying results with finishes of sixth in Japan and eighth in Milwaukee. Papis qualified fifth on Belle Isle in 2000 en route to a second-place finish and his second podium appearance of the season.

Oriol Servia - Has enjoyed an up-and-down season in his first year with Sigma Autosport. Servia qualified eighth in the first race of the season at Monterrey and scored his first championship points of the year at Nazareth on May 6th. Servia qualified 12th on Belle Isle a year ago on the way to scoring his first and only CART podium appearance (3rd) to date.

Alex Tagliani - Comes to Detroit after scoring his first championship points of the season at Milwaukee with a 12th-place finish. Tagliani has been solid on temporary street circuits throughout his career, and drove to a sixth-place finish last season on Belle Isle after starting 14th.

COSWORTH CHAMP CAR WINS - Following Kenny Brack's victory at Milwaukee, Cosworth Racing has now scored 207 victories in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since entering North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 160 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine in the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League (IRL) (was sanctioned by USAC). Michael Andretti has won the most races using a Cosworth engine (25), followed by Rick Mears (20), Bobby Rahal (18), Mario Andretti (16) and Johnny Rutherford (16).

FORD DRIVER HAPPENINGS IN DETROIT - Some Ford-powered drivers will be making appearances throughout the Detroit area as part of the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix race activities. Zakspeed/Forsythe driver Bryan Herta and Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., will appear at the Grand Prix media luncheon on Thursday, June 14th, while Herta will sign autographs and throw out the first pitch later in the day at Comerica Park before the Detroit Tigers game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Team Rahal driver Max Papis will be the featured speaker at the CART Wheels for Kids summer camp program, which will visit the Livonia YMCA at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. Papis will relay safety messages to the children regarding such key components as seatbelts, helmets and the environment; educate them about the sport and the FedEx Championship Series, and create a special experience for all those involved.

SPARK PLUGS - Although Ford-Cosworth scored five consecutive pole positions on the Belle Isle circuit from 1992 to 1996, it has not had once since ... Oriol Servia scored his only career CART podium finish last season at Detroit (third) ... Kenny Brack has led a series-high 358 laps through five races this season ... Bryan Herta is Ford-Cosworth's most experienced CART driver this season with 105 career Champ Car starts.

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Nigel Mansell , Scott Pruett , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Cristiano da Matta , Johnny Rutherford , Michel Jourdain
Teams Team Zakspeed