CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Ford Racing Friday notes

Newman-Haas driver Christian Fittipaldi was the fastest Ford, and the fourth-fastest overall, in Friday's provisional qualifying for the Miller Lite 200. Fittipaldi, who missed the Target Grand Prix two weeks ago due to a concussion suffered in ...

Newman-Haas driver Christian Fittipaldi was the fastest Ford, and the fourth-fastest overall, in Friday's provisional qualifying for the Miller Lite 200. Fittipaldi, who missed the Target Grand Prix two weeks ago due to a concussion suffered in practice, lapped the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in an average speed of 122.920 miles per hour (1:06.131). Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran (124.394 mph; 1:05.347) captured the provisional pole, while teammate Helio Castroneves (124.336 mph; 1:05.362) was second fastest. Dario Franchitti rounded out the top three drivers at 123.218 miles per hour (1:05.971). Other drivers powered by Ford who qualified in the top ten include Kenny Brack (fourth), Adrian Fernandez (fifth) and Michael Andretti (ninth).

Takuya Kurosawa to miss the remainder of the 2000 season. Following his most recent 75G hit during qualifying for the Michigan 500, Takuya Kurosawa returned to Japan for an examination by his physician, who subsequently recommended that he undergo some minor back surgery followed by a two-month recovery period. Although Takuya is in attendance at Mid-Ohio this weekend, Gualter Salles will take his place behind the wheel of the #19 Sports Today Ford-Cosworth for Miller Lite 200.

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - 5th in practice - ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR RUN? "Yeah, I think it's okay. We still have a ways to go if you look at the Penske pace, but I think we definitely improved since we tested here, but we've just got to keep improving. I think our run was pretty good, but this is my first here so we're working away at it." ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR SET UP? "Yeah, I think the set up is good. It feels good, but as I said if you look at the Penske pace you wonder what's wrong? The car feels pretty good, but we'll just have to make it a little bit better everywhere I guess to keep up with them."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - 6th in practice - "The car has been consistent, so we're very happy with the performance of the car. We just kept it simple and I think there is room for improvement, so we just have to keep it up." HOW DOES THE CAR FEEL? "Good, very good. Of course we need to find more speed and it's (the car) still on the push side. We have to work a lot to get these Penske guys. So far they're pretty quick, so we hopefully we will find something and be much better for tomorrow."

Ford Racing Notes and Quotes ... PAGE 2

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) -11th in practice - ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR TIME? "Yeah, I think we did a good considering we are in the first session. My goal is to get out of the slow session in which we don't belong and to set the car on pole tomorrow. We'll have to see if we can manage it." HOW DOES THE CAR FEEL? "The car felt quite good on the first set (of tires). On the first set of tires the car pushed a lot, (but) on the second set of tires the car was very loose and we are analyzing now why. Overall I think we've done a pretty good job and we kept a good calm during the session."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Ford-Cosworth) -15th in practice - ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR TIME? "No because there's going to be more rubber on the track and we're probably going to get our asses kicked by these guys (in the second group). But I was pretty happy with the car. It still has a little bit of a push but we made good improvements from the first set (of tires) to the second one, but it's too bad. I wish qualifying would work differently so we get the same chance as everybody else does because right now these guys (in the second group) will get a better track and probably go a bit faster."

GUALTER SALLES (#19 Sports Today Ford-Cosworth) - 23rd in practice - HOW WAS THE CAR? "It's quite a long ways from being where I want it to be. I've been to Mid-Ohio quite a few times and I know what I need from the car. The team didn't test here in the open test and I haven't driven on a road course for a year and the car was not to my liking. Tomorrow we're going to change a lot in the car and hopefully it's going to be a lot better."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gualter Salles , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Christian Fittipaldi , Kenny Brack , Takuya Kurosawa
Teams Team Penske