CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Road America preview

Race ...

Race #13
Motorola 220
Road America
Elkhart Lake, WI

WHEN: August 19, 2001
TRACK LAYOUT: 4.048-mile permanent road course

RACE DISTANCE: 222.640 miles (55 laps)

TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): ESPN; 12:00pm (Live)

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Paul Tracy
DEFENDING POLESITTER: Dario Franchitti (145.924 miles per hour; 1 minute, 39.866 seconds)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Dario Franchitti (145.924 miles per hour; 1 minute, 39.866 seconds)

2001 DRIVER POINTS (12 races): KENNY BRACK (104), Helio Castroneves (103), Gil de Ferran (89), Dario Franchitti (81), Michael Andretti (73)

2001 MANUFACTURER POINTS (12 races): Honda (211), FORD-COSWORTH (185), Toyota (175)

FORD-COSWORTH HISTORY AT ROAD AMERICA -Cosworth Racing has a long history of success at Road America with nine victories on the four-mile permanent road course. Hector Rebaque won the inaugural CART race at Elkhart Lake in 1982 behind the wheel of his Cosworth-powered March 82C chassis. Rebaque's victory was the first of five consecutive victories by Cosworth Racing from 1982 to 1986, including back-to-back wins by Mario Andretti in 1983 and 1984. Jacques Villeneuve would win consecutive races at Road America in 1994 and 1995 (from the pole), while Michael Andretti won in 1996 and Christian Fittipaldi claimed his first career CART victory in 1999. Ford has captured three pole positions at Road America since re-entering Champ Car competition in 1992, including Jacques Villeneuve in 1995 and Michael Andretti in both 1998 and 1999.

KASEY KAHNE TO MAKE ATLANTIC DEBUT - Sprint car sensation Kasey Kahne is poised to make his debut in the CART Atlantic Series this weekend when he takes to the track in a car prepared by P1 Racing. One of Ford Racing's developmental drivers, Kahne tested one of Team Rahal's Ford-powered Champ Cars in April at the Homestead Motor Speedway and has appeared in four U.S. FF2000 races this season, including two at Road America in early July where he finished 22nd (contact) and 20th (engine), respectively.

BRACK MAINTAINS LEAD IN DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP; FORD-COSWORTH REMAINS SECOND IN THE MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack continues to lead the drivers' championship standings despite not scoring any points last weekend at Mid-Ohio. Brack (104 points) now leads Helio Castroneves (103 points) by just one point in the chase for the drivers' championship with eight races remaining in the 2001 CART FedEx Championship season. Brack has now held the championship points lead for 12 consecutive weeks after winning his first career Champ Car race on May 19th in Motegi, Japan. Ford-Cosworth remains in second place in the manufacturers' championship points standings behind Honda and ahead of Toyota. Ford-Cosworth (185 points) trails Honda (211) by 26 points and leads Toyota (175) by 10 points with eight races remaining.

FORD FAVORITES AT ROAD AMERICA - Although there are several drivers capable of winning a race in the FedEx Championship Series, Ford-Cosworth drivers Kenny Brack, Patrick Carpentier 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 - Kenny Brack continues to leads the CART FedEx Championship driver standings despite finishing out of the points in three of the last four races. Brack finished third as a rookie last season at Road America and has notched three top-10 finishes on permanent road and/or temporary street courses this season, including a season-best fifth in the season-opener at Monterrey.

Patrick Carpentier - Carpentier continues to score championship points at a furious pace after making his third consecutive podium appearance of the season last weekend at Mid-Ohio with a third place result (Michigan - first; Chicago - second). Carpentier has now scored 50 of his 65 championship points in the last three events and currently sits eighth in the drivers' standings. The French-Canadian has qualified in the top 10 in five of the seven races this season on road and/or street courses and has notched top 10 finishes at Detroit (eighth), Portland (fifth) and Mid-Ohio (third).

Alex Tagliani - Alex Tagliani is currently one of the most consistent drivers in CART, having scored championship points in six consecutive races and in seven of the last eight. During that stretch Tagliani has three top-10 qualifying efforts (Cleveland - seventh; Toronto - fifth; Mid-Ohio - sixth) and five top-10 finishes, including a career-best second-place result at Toronto on July 15th. As a rookie last season at Road America, Tagliani led a race-high 23 laps before suffering a broken half shaft on lap 37, ending his quest for his first Champ Car victory.

COSWORTH CHAMP CAR WINS - Kenny Brack's third career Champ Car victory at Chicago on July 29th was the 210th victory for Cosworth Racing in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since entering North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 163 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine during 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 - After beginning the season with top-five finishes in four of the first five races, championship points leader Kenny Brack has just one top-five result (Chicago) in his last seven starts ... Brack continues to lead all CART drivers in pole positions (four) and laps led (472) and is tied with Helio Castroneves for most victories (three) ... Team Rahal has won the most races (four) of any CART team this season.

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Kasey Kahne , Hector Rebaque , Johnny Rutherford