NEWMAN-HAAS DRIVER CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI WILL START SIXTH IN TOMORROW'S MOLSON INDY VANVOUVER. Fittipaldi lapped the 1.781-mile temporary street circuit in an average speed of 104.435 miles per hour during the afternoon qualifying session before ...
NEWMAN-HAAS DRIVER CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI WILL START SIXTH IN TOMORROW'S MOLSON INDY VANVOUVER. Fittipaldi lapped the 1.781-mile temporary street circuit in an average speed of 104.435 miles per hour during the afternoon qualifying session before retiring early (CV joint). Teammate Michael Andretti (104.425 mph) will start behind Fittipaldi after posting the eighth-quickest qualifying lap. Other drivers powered by Ford-Cosworth who qualified in the top 10 included Max Papis (104.076 mph) and Roberto Moreno (104.037 mph).
MICHAEL ANDRETTI LOOKING TO SWEEP THE CANADIAN RACES. After claiming victory earlier this season in Toronto, Andretti will be looking to claim his second race north of the border in tomorrow's Molson Indy Vancouver. Andretti has won both Toronto and Vancouver twice in his career (1991 and '92) and will be chasing his fourth career win in Vancouver (1991, '92 and '96).
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 6th - "Our session was cut short by a tripod (CV joint) failure which is similar to what happened to Michael (Andretti) at Elkhart Lake. We not only had to miss our last attempt to better our starting position but we also have to sit out for eight minutes in the first qualifying session at Laguna (Seca). We have had problems in three of the four sessions so far this weekend so hopefully all of the problems are behind us. The car had more in it. On my fast lap with the first set of tires, I messed up the lap on one part of the course that I had been doing good on. That slowed the lap time down but it still was good enough to put us sixth quick. Luckily we were able to post that time early in the session since the car broke after that and we would've had to start much worse."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 8th - "We could've probably been two tenths (of a second) quicker and started around sixth place but that is all we were capable of. To win the race, we will just have to run all day and stay out of trouble. We need to finish this race strong and collect some points for the championship. Winning both Canadian races would be great, but we just need to finish the race. If we can do that, we will score some points. The car felt better than an eighth place car but we were not in contention for the pole."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 9th - "I was trying very hard on the last lap and I clipped the wall (in turn 6). I spun right after that. I thought I might have a tenth or two quicker. But we got out of the slow group for Laguna Seca. In this series, it's hard to move up into the fast group on a street circuit. Actually the track was better this morning for traction. In the afternoon, the rear end wanted to kick out and spin the tires. This track is tough on equipment with the walls and the shifting. I think there was a lot of attrition last year and that could happen again on Sunday."
ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 10th - WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE TODAY AND WHAT'S IF GOING TO TAKE TO CATCH THESE GUYS TOMORROW? "We're playing a little catch-up on the set up early in the qualifying session, but we were able to make very good steps towards the end. Unfortunately it was just one lap after the last red (flag), and I was able to make my best lap time then. On a circuit like this where the times are close, when the times were warm I think we made good improvement with the car. I even was four tenths quicker into the last corner, but (Paul) Tracy was coming to the pits and I sort of had the wrong line into that corner trying to still go fast and avoid him. I think we're probably happy with the car, we'll have a good race car for tomorrow, play a good strategy and we'll be up there."
IN TERMS OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP IT'S YOU AND MICHAEL SO CLOSE TOGETHER. DOES THAT HAVE ANY BEARING ON WHAT YOU DO TOMORROW? ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP OR ARE YOU JUST CONCENTRATING ON THIS ONE RACE? "Well, my strategy has always been to play it safe and try to bring points at the end of the race. If a win is within our reach we'll take a chance on it and we'll do our best, but our first intention is to always get the best points. And that's the name of the game - you've got to forget about the guys out there and just do your own thing and do the best each race you can."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 15th - YOU'VE HAD YOUR HANDS FULL TODAY CHASING GREEN, RED AND WHITE CARS. "Exactly. The (Team) Green and Penske cars have been running very strongly this weekend. We have had a tough time just getting the car to work on cold tires - it takes a long time to get some temperature in them. I think we found something this afternoon that's in a little bit better direction, so we've just got to keep working in that direction and hopefully we'll be fine for tomorrow."
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GO FAST TOMORROW? "Hopefully have a better car on restarts and on cold tires because that's going to be key. If you start at the front and start holding up people, everybody is going to pass you. So we need to have a car that works better under cold conditions and like it always is, fuel consumption is going to be key for tomorrow."
KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 16th - "We made a time gain today. Just a tenth or two and we could've been in the top 10. That's how competitive this series is this year. I think we are getting up to speed here at Vancouver, but we need to be faster if we want to challenge any of the leaders on Sunday. I feel more comfortable with this track now. It will be a long race on Sunday but you can't depend on luck to move up in the points paying positions. We have to make the car faster. And I believe we improved the set up in each session."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 19th - "We found a problem in the car we had yesterday on the wheelspin, and the team worked hard to find the shocks we need on this track and the guys found it. We were where we were in Elkhart Lake, as fast as anybody else and we were looking good for this session. I was very confident with the car I had this morning to come up with two sets of tires and be able to be in the 1:01.0 or even lower than that, so I was really happy with the car. We showed up here, everything is fine, the car looks great, and it's the engine. We had a problem with the engine and we cannot run like that. The car was doing some backfires on the track so we stopped our session."