PORTLAND, OR--Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are in the final stint of three back-to-back CART FedEx Championship races. Last weekend was spent at the Laguna Seca Raceway where they started 19th and finished 11th, earning...
PORTLAND, OR--Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti are in the final stint of three back-to-back CART FedEx Championship races. Last weekend was spent at the Laguna Seca Raceway where they started 19th and finished 11th, earning two championship points in the process. "Wow, last weekend was a lot of work for two points," said Andretti. It was the team's first road course outing in the Lola chassis and as team general manager Kim Green explained; "the learning curve with the new chassis is steep. We didn't get a chance to test the Lola on the road course so going into Laguna, we knew it would be tough," said Green. "But we've gained some valuable knowledge that should be helpful for us in Portland and now we need to translate that knowledge into a reasonable race car for Michael."
Andretti has had quite a bit of success on the 1.97-mile natural terrain road course at Portland International Raceway with victories in 1990, '91 and '92 and second place finishes in 1986 and '87. "Portland is a track that can throw a lot of different things at you depending on the weather," said Andretti. "Last year during the race it went wet to dry throughout so you really had a challenge on the set-up because the weather made track conditions so unpredictable."
Andretti and Team Motorola are currently in ninth place in the CART FedEx Championship race with 30 points, while Cristiano daMatta is in the championship lead with 51 points. "Our goal this weekend is to continue to earn championship points," said Green. "At the end of the season, points are what makes the difference in the final order for champion."
Michel Jourdain dropped to second place in the championship race with 46 points while Christian Fittipaldi rounds out the top three with 43 points. Michael's technical partners Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy are now in fifth place (35 points) and sixth place (32 points) respectively in the championship hunt.
Andretti is in his 19th Champ Car season and currently leads all active Champ Car drivers in number of wins at 42, number of poles at 32, number of starts with 295 and laps led with 6,563.
Team Motorola will begin practice for Sunday's event on Friday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. PT while Friday provisional qualifying will begin at 2:10 p.m. Final qualifying will be Saturday at 1:45 p.m. The race will be shown live on CBS beginning Sunday, June 16 at 12:30 p.m. PT.