CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green EuroSpeedway Lausitz preview

Germany Next Stop For Team Kool Green Team KOOL Green and the rest of the CART FedEx Championship competitors make their inaugural visit to Germany for this weekend's German 500 on the two-mile tri-oval at the brand-new Eurospeedway in Lausitz,...

Germany Next Stop For Team Kool Green

Team KOOL Green and the rest of the CART FedEx Championship competitors make their inaugural visit to Germany for this weekend's German 500 on the two-mile tri-oval at the brand-new Eurospeedway in Lausitz, Germany.

The race will be carried live on ESPN at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

PAUL TRACY, #26 KOOL Honda-Reynard:
(Inaugural race at EuroSpeedway; currently 11th in the standings with 65 points)

"I'm really looking forward to going to Germany. I had a great time racing there in a kart in 1983 and I'm anxious to get back. Unfortunately, this season hasn't been what we'd hoped it would be, so now we're just looking to get great results and put Team KOOL Green back in victory lane. It's no secret that I like oval races, and with no one having tested there, I'm hoping to have an advantage. Plus, Team KOOL Green has a history of being good on new circuits and we hope to continue that in Germany."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 KOOL Honda-Reynard:
(Inaugural race at EuroSpeedway; currently 5th in the standings with 85 points)

"Team KOOL Green has been fairly competitive on the ovals this year, so I'm actually looking forward to the European races. We haven't finished where we wanted maybe, but we've generally had a good car. It will be great to be racing in Germany again. I raced touring cars there, including the 1995 German Touring Car Championship (finished fifth in Championship). The German fans are very knowledgeable and I'm sure we'll give them a good show."

TKG NOTEBOOK

Team KOOL Green now heads out to Germany's EuroSpeedway, an ultra-modern, four-in-one facility that boasts a 2-mile super speedway, a 2.8-mile road course, 2.6-mile motorcycle course and a 7-mile road course suitable for long distance racing. The EuroSpeedway is located in Lausitz, Germany, which prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, was a city located in the former German Democratic Republic, or East Germany. Situated some 80 miles south of Berlin and approximately 30 minutes north of Dresden, EuroSpeedway is in close proximity to both the Czech Republic and Poland, which are both about 50 miles away.

TKG's Dario Franchitti is one of five European drivers in the CART FedEx Championship series. No stranger to things German, Franchitti might remember a few key phrases after spending his last year in European racing with the AMG Mercedes Team in the FIA International Touring Car Championship. Dario, who finished fourth in that championship in 1996, earned seven podium finishes with the Mercedes factory team, including a win at Suzuka.

If you think your FedEx delivery man carries a load, check this out! TKG's Honda Reynards and equipment departed Indianapolis for the other side of the pond last Friday, with all shipment being handled by series sponsor FedEx. The flight to Germany takes approximately 11 hours. Once on the ground in Dresden, a FedEx convoy carries the team's equipment to EuroSpeedway, along with that of the other CART competitors. Team KOOL Green alone shipped 26,600 pounds of support equipment - including two timing stands that weigh 1900 pounds apiece!

If it's 6 a.m. in New York, you'll need to add six hours to figure out what time it is in Lausitz. Germany is at Greenwich Mean Time (which is five hours ahead of U.S. East Coast time) plus one hour. So while Paul and Dario are out qualifying at 1:15 p.m. on Friday afternoon, those of us who stayed home could be having that first cup of java of the day. It'll be 7:15 a.m. in the east and 4:15 a.m. in California! Yawn!

-TKG-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti