CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Team Motorola Friday qualifying report

PORTLAND, Oregon (June 14, 2002)--Opening day of practice and provisional qualifying for Sunday's G.I. Joe's 200 continued as a learning opportunity for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti. "We're certainly learning a lot every day,"...

PORTLAND, Oregon (June 14, 2002)--Opening day of practice and provisional qualifying for Sunday's G.I. Joe's 200 continued as a learning opportunity for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti. "We're certainly learning a lot every day," explained general manager Kim Green. "Now, we need to see if we can put everything we're learning to good use and pull together a good qualifying and race effort." The team practiced for one and one half hours in this morning's session and then returned to the track in the afternoon for their 15 lap provisional qualifying effort.

Team Motorola finished today's provisional qualifying session in 16th position with a time of 60.177 seconds while Cristiano daMatta took the provisional pole and one championship point with a time of 59.083 seconds. Kenny Brack finished in second place with a time of 59.168 seconds and Christian Fittipaldi rounded out the top three with a time of 59.215 seconds. Michael Andretti's technical partners Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy finished 4th and 9th respectively in today's provisional qualifying with times of 59.403 seconds and 59.581 seconds respectively. Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with final qualifying to follow at 1:45 p.m. PST.

Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"By the end of today's provisional qualifying session the car was feeling better. We have been making little changes all day and we're headed in the right direction, but we're still not there. We've got some work to do and if we can get more overall grip out of the car that will really help all the little problems we're having."

* Sunday will be Michael's 296th start of his career.

* In 2001, Michael started 16th and finished 8th in this race.

* Michael leads all active Champ Car drivers with 295 race starts, 42 wins, * 32 poles and 6,563 laps led.

Kim Green -- General Manager

"We're certainly not happy to be in 16th place. I think we can do a whole lot better than that and we know that Michael is capable of running much better as well. Right now, we need to find some speed out of the race car. I think we're still understanding how to get overall grip out of the race car to suit Michael and we just need to keep working at it. We're learning a lot every day and if we can put everything we're learning to good use and not give up on ourselves because we know that as a team we're very capable of putting together a good qualifying and race effort."

-tm-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Kim Green , Cristiano da Matta