CHAMPCAR/CART: Nazareth Ford Racing Friday Report

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CAR AFTER YOUR FIRST FULL DAY ON TRACK? "We are right there except for with Helio (Castro-Neves). It looks like that Lola is pretty good out there. We spent...

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CAR AFTER YOUR FIRST FULL DAY ON TRACK? "We are right there except for with Helio (Castro-Neves). It looks like that Lola is pretty good out there. We spent most of the day running on full tanks and the car was okay."

HOW MUCH ARE THE CARS SLIPPING AROUND OUT THERE? "It's going to be a handful out there but it should be the same way for everybody."

TYPICALLY, QUALIFYING IS NOT AS IMPEARITIVE ON OVALS AS IT IS ON ROAD COURSES, BUT HERE AT NAZARETH STARTING UP FRONT MAY AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS ON A ROAD COURSE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? "Normally on an oval (starting up front) is not as important but here it may be pretty crucial. I think track position is going to be pretty important. So we need to get our car to be a bit quicker. This morning we had a problem and the car was not as quick as yesterday, so, if we don't get that figured out we have a problem."

WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF HOW THE RACE WILL UNFOLD? "I think it is going to be a big adjustment for everybody. You are will have to slow down going into the corners and that's what we are going to have to get used too. I think it is going to be a good race."

SOME OF THE OTHER DRIVERS WERE SAYING THAT THIS TRACK MAY BE A TWO LINE RACE TRACK. WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS? "I thought it was going to be two lines but after my long run I think it is going to be a one line race track."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - YOU RAN THE MOST LAPS, 82, OF ANY DRIVER. WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAR AND THE TRACK? "We spent a lot of time today setting the car up for Sunday afternoon. I think it is important to try to get a feel for the car in conditions similar to race day. Overall we are pretty happy and I think tomorrow we can qualify in the top four or five."

I NOTICED THAT THE WIND PICKED UP OUT THERE AND AT TIMES IT WAS RATHER GUSTY. HOW DID THAT AFFECT THE CAR? "It was like this yesterday as well and it didn't effect the car that much."

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - WHAT WAS YOUR PRIMARY FOCUS TODAY? "We spent a lot of time running full tanks just trying to make ourselves comfortable with the car."

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM'S BIGGEST STRUGGLE IN REGARDS TO THE SETUP OF THE CAR? "Keeping it straight. It's like driving the car on ice. This (condition) is not what a driver wants. We are trying to make it the best we can and we are looking for some grip in the car but with the new wings we don't have a lot to work with. Sunday is going to be a real gamble."

BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - HOW DO YOU LIKE RUNNING WITH THE SMALLER WINGS? "I guess the best way to describe them is by asking how much you don't hate them. They are okay. I don't really think the cars are a lot of fun to drive. They are difficult and not as satisfying to drive but everybody is in the same position. There are twenty-five guys out there who have to race in the same condition and someone has to win so it might as well be us."

SOME OF THE DRIVERS ACTUALLY SAY THAT THEY LIKE THIS NEW WING SETUP. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT? "If they tell you they do they are lying. Like I said, it's the same for everybody. The feel isn't as good for the driver but with this decision (CART) has been able to achieve the lap times they were after so they were doing it for the right reasons. They just may have to tweak it a bit."


ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - ALTHOUGH YOU ARE STILL NOT THAT COMFORTABLE WITH THE CAR, YOU DID MANAGE TO END UP FOURTH FASTEST. YOU HAVE TO BE A LITTLE HAPPY WITH THAT? "Yes, but I need to find more consistency in the car and that's what we are working on. I feel like we had good speed and we can put a good lap together for qualifying but we are looking at constancy right now."

WHAT AREAS SPECIFICALLY ARE YOU BATTLING WITH THE MOST IN RELATIONS TO THE CARS SETUP? "Unfortunately you have a push and loose condition at the same time. You have such a little bit of downforce that it's an entirely new experience for everybody. We are still learning. When we tested here it was with the Swift and not the Reynard. When I evaluate the car I don't go by speed I go by the feel and we are not quite there yet. Compared to yesterday we have improved but I hope we can find even more tomorrow."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. -19- Herdez/Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - THE LOLA SEEMS TO BE A VERY STRONG CAR HERE. WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRRESSIONS OF THE CAR? "The car is much, much better. We made a mistake with the gears and we were loosing a lot of time because of it."

HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH THE CAR? "I think the idea with the wings is very good and I hope we can make it better for tomorrow and qualify in a good position. I think the Lola is very good, especially at this type of track."

DENNIS VITOLO -34- NicoDerm/Nicorette CQ Ford-Cosworth - WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN REGARDS TO THE CAR SETUP AFTER THE FIRST FULL DAY OF PRACTICE? "It's tricky finding the setup with the wing package. Like any oval setup we have to sneak up on it. The good news is that when we make gains the gains come big. We went a second and a half quicker than we did in the morning. So every time we go out we make gains and close the gap."

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