CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Team Motorola preview

Sunday's race marks Andretti's 309th and final start in the CART FedEx Championship Series, a record for active Champ Car drivers INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Following their outstanding second place finish at California Speedway a little over a week...

Sunday's race marks Andretti's 309th and final start in the CART FedEx Championship Series, a record for active Champ Car drivers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Following their outstanding second place finish at California Speedway a little over a week ago, Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti returned to home base in Indianapolis to ready themselves for the final race of the year and their last contest in the CART FedEx Championship. While all minds were focused on the task at hand, Round 19 of the Championship in Mexico City, Andretti reflected on his last appearance in the race series he has participated in for the past nineteen years.

"This weekend is going to be one of mixed emotions," says Andretti. "I will be driving with a heavy heart knowing that this is my last race in CART, but I'm also excited about the future especially becoming a team owner."

While Andretti is bittersweet about his final run in the CART series, he is looking forward to Mexico City.

"This is a very important race for Team Motorola," he says. "It's an event where we'll have a lot of guests and we're hoping to do especially well and put on a good show for them. I've seen the track layout in Mexico City and it looks great. With the big crowds expected, it should be an exciting weekend. One of the challenges will be the elevation. Although we didn't have many problems in Denver, Mexico City is even higher and we'll face some of the same challenges. Hopefully we'll be able to apply what we learned there to here."

"Fontana was a great weekend for us," adds Andretti. "Team Motorola was near the top of the speed charts every session and hopefully we can carry that momentum with us. We need another strong finish to hopefully move up in the points."

Team Manager, Tony Cotman is equally excited about Team Motorola's chances in Mexico City.

"Team Motorola is really looking forward to going to Mexico City," says Cotman. "From the sound of things there is going to be a great crowd and the atmosphere at the track is going to be incredible. The racetrack looks to be a fast, flowing one with some opportunities to pass. I don't think the elevation is going to be that significant because we have already run at Denver with no problems and Mexico City is just a little higher. Our goal is to finish fifth in the championship and also help Dario (Franchitti, technical partner) finish second so we will be going after the win."

Andretti and Team Motorola are currently seventh in the championship with 110 points. Cristiano da Matta, who locked up the championship in Miami, has 221 points, while Bruno Junqueira is second with 148 points. Andretti's technical partner Dario Franchitti is fourth with 138 points while Franchitti's teammate Paul Tracy is tenth with 101 points.

Michael Andretti is in his 19th Champ Car season and currently leads all active Champ Car drivers in number of wins with 42, number of poles - 32, number of starts - 308 and laps led - 6,601.

The first practice session for the Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante will be held on Friday at 10:00 a.m. local time with provisional qualifying on Friday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. Practice will continue on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. with final qualifying set to begin at 1:45 p.m. On Sunday, the race will be shown live on Speed Channel beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Cristiano da Matta