CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Vancouver Friday notes

VANCOUVER, B. C., CANADA - FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2000 - Round 15 of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series - Roberto Moreno is seventh and Adrian Fernandez 18th on the grid following today's provisional qualifying for the Molson Indy Vancouver on the...

VANCOUVER, B. C., CANADA - FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2000 - Round 15 of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series - Roberto Moreno is seventh and Adrian Fernandez 18th on the grid following today's provisional qualifying for the Molson Indy Vancouver on the temporary street circuit in Vancouver, B. C., Canada.

Moreno, in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, made steady progress throughout the day. He was 19th on the practice report following the morning practice session with a time of 63.827 seconds (100.453 mph). After getting into the top five during the first part of the session, Moreno tapped the wall with his primary car while on a quick lap. The damage was not significant, but it did force him into the backup car for the remainder of practice. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team continued to make progress during the session with the backup car, but the time lost in changing cars caused them to slip into the lower half on the speed charts. In provisional qualifying Moreno, running in the "fast" group based on his 11th place starting position at Elkhart Lake, spent most of the session fine-tuning the Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth. Then, with just minutes remaining he went all out on one lap notching a quick time of 61.846 seconds (103.670 mph). Moreno's seventh place position on the provisional grid keeps him in the second or "fast" group for tomorrow's final qualifying.

"The circuit is getting more rubber on it and the setup of the Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth is adapting to the changing conditions. The faster the circuit becomes the more our setup will adapt to it. I was just been waiting for the right time to do my quick lap and it worked out well for me so far. We are in the quick session for tomorrow's final qualifying and that is an advantage. Let's just hope it doesn't rain. I am very pleased with the Visteon/Patrick Racing crew. The engineers did a great job today and we are making progrss each time out."

Moreno, who led the FedEx Championship Series early this season, is currently second in the standings with 112 points. He is just 13 points out of first. The 41-year-old Brazilian has been in the top four in the points for the entire season and has not been lower than third since the third race. Moreno has finished ten of 14 races, each time in the points. He has nine top-10 performances including six top five finishes and four podium showings with one win, his CART career first. The Weston, Florida resident is second in laps and miles completed, tied for fifth in poles, fifth in laps led and tied for sixth in wins. He has qualified in the top-10 in eight of 14 races and four of seven road/street circuits with one pole, his CART career first at Cleveland. This will be the fourth time Moreno has competed on the challenging 1.781-mile Vancouver temporary street circuit. His best starting position is sixth, last year, and his best finish is 15th (1997 and 1999).

Fernandez, driving the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, had a much more difficult day. He was 15th on the practice report following morning practice with a time of 63.010 seconds (101.755), but was pleased with the performance and progress of the car despite an incident with a tire wall at the end of the session. In qualifying Fernandez also ran with the "fast" group based on his fifth place starting position at Elkhart Lake. During the session the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team continued to work on the setup of the car, but couldn't get it to perform to their liking. Fernandez ended the session with a fast time of 62.817 seconds (101.983 mph). His 18th place position on the provisional grid puts him in the first or "slow" group for tomorrow's final qualifying.

"This morning the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth was good. This afternoon we don't know what happened. The car is loose even on the straightaway. There is some major problem with the car and the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team just needs to sit down and figure out what it is before qualifying tomorrow. Fortunately, Roberto's car seems to be better and we have a practice session tomorrow so I think we will be okay in final qualifying."

Fernandez, who was 11th in the championship race as late as July 2, is now fourth in the championship race. He is just three points out of third place, nine out of second and 22 out of first. The 35-year-old Mexican is the hottest driver in the series having finished in the top five in three of his last five races and in the top six in all five. Fernandez has scored points in 11 of his last 12 starts. The Paradise Valley, Arizona resident has finished 11 of 14 races this year (the most of any driver) each time in the points. He has 10 top-10 showings including five top five finishes with three podiums performances. Fernandez is third in miles completed, fourth in laps completed, tied for sixth in wins and tenth in laps led (73). He has qualified in the top-10 in seven of 14 races and five of seven road/street circuits. This will be the sixth time Fernandez has competed on the streets of Vancouver. In five previous races Fernandez' best qualifying position is 11th (1994 and 1996) and his best finish is eight (1996).

Final qualifying for the Molson Indy Vancouver will begin at 1:45 pm (PT) tomorrow. The race will be run on Sunday, September 1 at 1:00 p.m. (PT) and will be televised live on ABC at 1:00 p.m. (PT) (4:00 P.M. ET).

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno