CHAMPCAR/CART: NHR Lausitz Friday practice report

The morning practice session was not held due to intermittent sprinkles and an already wet track. The jet dryers were on track most of the morning and early afternoon in an attempt to dry the surface. At approx. 3:25 PM local time, the cars took...

The morning practice session was not held due to intermittent sprinkles and an already wet track. The jet dryers were on track most of the morning and early afternoon in an attempt to dry the surface. At approx. 3:25 PM local time, the cars took to the track for the first time for five minutes of running under yellow caution conditions before the two-hour practice session commenced.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "After watching the fans stand in the rain for two days it was good to give them something back for their support. It wasn't a good session though because we weren't as fast as we should be. The gearbox broke in my primary car and we had to get the back-up car out near the end of the session and that took away some already limited time because we also had to get it warmed up. The car is good when I am trying to get the power down but we need to work on it everywhere else. We have a lot of work to do to find more grip and speed."

* NOTE: Is currently 56 points back from first place in the Championship standings in 11th place with 54 to leader Castroneves, 110. Racing history in Germany Finished 4th in the 1994 F1 race; finished 8th in the 1993 F1 race and finished 4th in the 1991 F3000 race - all at the Hockenheim track.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "The track is a little bumpier than we expected so we are working to make the car better over the bumps...The car is not good right now and we have a lot of work to do in a shorter amount of time so there is a little more pressure than we normally have. We are starting seventh which is much better than where we ranked in practice which is an advantage for us but we need to make the car better to make use of that."

* NOTE: Only 32 points out of first place in the Championship while in seventh. Will be his first Champ car race in Germany. Racing history in Germany...Competed in two events at Hockenheim (running 6th and CV joint broke, qualified 5th but crashed in first turn) and one at Nurburgring (9th) - all in F3000 in 1996.

The German 500 will mark the first European event sanctioned by Championship Auto Racing Teams in the organization's 23-year history.

The German 500, round 16 of 21, will air live in the United States on ESPN, beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday. The race will also air live locally on ARD, Germany's dominant television network, beginning at 1:03 p.m. Twenty of 21 FedEx Championship Series events are being televised live on ABC-TV or ESPN and 18 are being televised live on Eurosport, a European network that reaches 250 million viewers in 54 countries. A total of eight international broadcasters will be televising Saturday's German 500, including TV Azteca of Mexico; Automundo of South America; Rede Record of Brazil; Innovative Media of Canada; NTV of Japan; Channel 10 of Australia; SVT of Sweden and Mediaset of Italy. Saturday's race will also air on the CART Radio Network - which will provide audio to nearly one million American servicemen and women worldwide through the American Forces Radio Network - and on CART's official website, which will also carry Friday's qualifying, at www.cart.com .

-NHR-

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Series IndyCar