MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 23, 2002)--Team Motorola driver Michael Andretti got his first look at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve today since 1993 in preparation for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal. The Champ Car veteran who ran here in 1993...
MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 23, 2002)--Team Motorola driver Michael Andretti got his first look at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve today since 1993 in preparation for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal. The Champ Car veteran who ran here in 1993 while competing for McLaren in Formula One didn't see that a whole lot had changed. "The track is really pretty much the same as it was in '93," commented Andretti. "The one noticeable difference would be the track has more grip but otherwise, it is really similar to how I remember it." When asked if his experience here in Formula One and Formula Fords and Atlantics would be an advantage Andretti quipped, "It doesn't look like it today, but seriously it's been so long and the equipment is so different that I don't think my experience here will make any difference." Andretti posted a quick time this afternoon of 1:20.732 seconds that placed him 12th in the provisional qualifying session.
CART instituted a new qualifying format today which included a 15 minute practice session prior to the start of qualifying and then a 35 minute qualifying period in which to run the allotted 15 laps. "We certainly didn't get the best out of the race car this afternoon," said general manager Kim Green. "We had some inconsistencies and we'll need to get the car better for tomorrow."
Cristiano da Matta is on provisional pole with a time of 1:19.465 seconds, while Scott Dixon was second quick at 1:42.744 seconds and Kenny Brack rounded out the top three qualifiers with a time of 1:19.873 seconds. Michael's technical partners Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy were 14th and 16th respectively. Franchitti's time was 1:20.820 seconds and Tracy's was 1:20.982 seconds. Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with final qualifying to follow at 1:45 p.m. ET. Sunday's 80-lap race is set to begin at 2:00 p.m. and will be shown live on SpeedChannel television.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I just messed up this afternoon. I spun on my quick lap and I was up a couple of tenths of a second. It wouldn't have put us up that far on the grid but I'm sure it would have helped. The car still isn't perfect, in fact we're a ways off with where we need to be but I'm sure we'll put our heads together tonight and see what we can come up with to find some speed for tomorrow. It's great to be racing again in Montreal. This is a great racing venue and a great racing town. And for me, I love racing in Canada so it works out great. The track hasn't changed much over the years. If anything, it's gotten better because the track has more grip but really, not much has changed since I raced here in 1993."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"In looking at the grid it's apparent that we have some work to do. We certainly didn't get the best out of the race car, we had some inconsistencies and we need to get the car better for tomorrow. This is certainly a challenging new race track and it's great to see such a great turnout of fans. Now we need to take a good look at what we're doing and take a look at what our technical partners Paul (Tracy) and Dario (Franchitti) are doing and see what we can come up with to find some speed."