CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Portland preview

<pre> Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 - Portland Int'l Speedway - Portland, OR Race ...

<pre> Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 - Portland Int'l Speedway - Portland, OR Race #7

WHEN: June 24, 2001 TRACK LAYOUT: 1.969-mile permanent road course RACE DISTANCE: 192.962 miles (98 laps) TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): ESPN; 4:00 PM (live)

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Gil de Ferran DEFENDING POLESITTER: Helio Castroneves (122.768 miles per hour; 57.738 seconds) QUALIFYING RECORD: Helio Castroneves (122.768 miles per hour; 57.738 seconds)

2001 DRIVER POINTS (6 races): BRACK (74) Helio Castroneves (69) Michael Andretti (48) Cristiano da Matta (46) Gil de Ferran (44)

2001 MANUFACTURER POINTS (6 races): Honda (108) Toyota (98) FORD-COSWORTH (78) </pre> FORD-COSWORTH AT PORTLAND - Although Ford and Cosworth have had a great deal of success qualifying at Portland, unfortunately that success has not translated into race victories. Since Ford returned to Champ Car racing in 1992, Ford-Cosworth has scored four pole positions while capturing just one victory. Nigel Mansell sat on the pole in 1993, as did Jacques Villeneuve in 1995, Scott Pruett in 1997 and Bryan Herta in 1998, while Michael Andretti drove to victory at Portland in 1992 after starting second.

BRACK MAINTAINS LEAD IN DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP - Despite finishing ninth in the Detroit Grand Prix, Kenny Brack continues to lead the CART drivers' standings with 74 points. Helio Castroneves (69 points) scored all 22 available points in Detroit, and now trails Brack by just five points heading to Portland. Ford-Cosworth (78 points) lost some ground in the manufacturers' championship at Detroit, and now trails Honda (108) by 30 points and Toyota (98) by 20 points.

FORD FAVORITES AT PORTLAND - Although there are several drivers capable of winning a race in the FedEx Championship Series, Ford-Cosworth drivers Kenny Brack, Patrick Carpentier, Bryan Herta and Max Papis 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 - Kenny Brack heads to Portland having scored wins in two of his last three races and top nine finishes in five of the six events thus far this season. Brack has not qualified outside the top 10 this year, and has captured three pole positions (Mexico, Texas and Milwaukee) and two outside pole positions (Long Beach and Nazareth). In his first appearance at the Portland International Speedway last season, Brack qualified fifth en route to a sixth-place result.

Patrick Carpentier - Carpentier scored his first points of the 2001 season with an eighth-place showing in the Detroit Grand Prix last weekend after running most of the day in the top four. Carpentier has a history of running well at Portland, having scored top 10 finishes in three of his four career starts on the 1.969-mile permanent road course. Following back-to-back ninth-place finishes in 1998 and 1999, Carpentier drove to a 10th-place finish in 2000 after starting 12th.

Bryan Herta - Despite his struggles this season, Bryan Herta has performed well throughout his career at the Portland International Speedway. In his seven appearances in Portland, Herta has made four top 10 starts, including a pole position in 1998 and fourth in both 1996 and 1999, with finishes of third in 1998 and sixth in 1999.

Max Papis - Papis continues to gain momentum after finishing his third consecutive race in a points-paying position. Following a sixth-place result in Japan, Papis finished eighth in Milwaukee on June 3rd and 11th in Detroit last weekend. Papis has also experienced success at Portland in the past, qualifying 10th in 1999 en route to an eighth-place finish.

COSWORTH CHAMP CAR WINS - Following Kenny Brack's victory at Milwaukee on June 3rd, 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).

SPARK PLUGS - Ford has scored just one victory at Portland since re-entering Champ Car racing in 1992 (Andretti, '92) ... Cosworth Racing won four consecutive races at Portland from 1984 to 1987 ... Kenny Brack has finished ninth or better in three of his last four events on street or road courses ...Kenny Brack has been Ford-Cosworth's top finisher in four of the six races thus far this season (66.7%), and has accounted for 70 of Ford-Cosworth's 78 manufacturer points (89.7%) ... Ford has won 50 races since re-entering Champ Car racing in 1992 ... Bryan Herta is Ford-Cosworth's most experienced CART driver this season with 106 career Champ Car starts.

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Nigel Mansell , Scott Pruett , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Cristiano da Matta , Johnny Rutherford