CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey da Matta 2nd, Fittipaldi 16th in qualifying

QUALIFYING ORDER/TIMES 1st Kenny Brack 1:15.244 2nd Cristiano da Matta 1:15.439 16th Christian Fittipaldi 1:16.937 OVERALL: Qualifying began today in two sessions based on 2000 season point standings. Both Fittipaldi and da Matta were in the...

QUALIFYING ORDER/TIMES
1st Kenny Brack 1:15.244
2nd Cristiano da Matta 1:15.439
16th Christian Fittipaldi 1:16.937

OVERALL: Qualifying began today in two sessions based on 2000 season point standings. Both Fittipaldi and da Matta were in the "fast group" as they both finished in the top-12 in the 2000 season standings. Fittipaldi had limited track time due to mechanical problems on Friday and Saturday. The track deteriorated during the last 10 minutes of qualifying which further hindered Fittipaldi's goal of setting a quick lap at the end of the session. Single probe refueling will be mandated at the fourth race of the season although Newman/Haas will be doing this beginning with the first race of the season tomorrow. The Head and Neck Support Device (HANS) that Fittipaldi actively assisted in developing has been mandated at all oval races and is suggested for road and street courses. This race marks the first CART event that Cristiano da Matta has worn the device. As the event is being held on a road/street course, da Matta is doing this on a voluntary basis.

RACE DAY: The race morning warm-up will take place from 11-11:30 AM CT tomorrow with the race beginning at 3:00 PM CT with a LIVE broadcast set for ABC-TV.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "I am very happy with my first qualifying attempt in the Texaco/Havoline/Kmart car. It makes it easier when you unload the car and it is fast right away. The race weekend has gone smooth so far for me. I have been able to get a lot of track time because everything has been working well. Yeah, I'm disappointed not to get pole but there is only one point for pole and there are more opportunities in front of me. So far, we are off to a good start. It's going to be a wild race so it will be good to start up front. I am really impressed with the amount of people in the stands and in the paddock - even yesterday. It is like a race crowd already. It makes me feel more at home because everyone is having fun like the race in Brazil. It makes it more fun for the drivers to come to a place where everyone is enjoying themselves and partying. They definitely are enjoying themselves here."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "I was sliding all over the place and had no grip at all. It has been a difficult start to the first race for sure but we will try to salvage some good points from the race. It will be a crazy race and anything can happen so we will just keep trying to get a good balance in the car for the race and be ready for anything."

NOTES: A win in Monterrey would bring Fittipaldi back-to-back victories in CART after having won the 2000 season-ending Marlboro 500. The Monterrey race will be his first event in the country since the 1992 Formula One race at the Hermanos-Rodrigos track.

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta