CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal Michigan qualifying

BROOKLYN, MI . . .Shell driver Kenny Brack captured the pole position and teammate Max Papis collected the outside position of row 1 in the Miller Lite car when rain showers canceled qualifying for Sunday's Harrah's 500 (Sunday 1:30 PM EDT ABC) at...

BROOKLYN, MI . . .Shell driver Kenny Brack captured the pole position and teammate Max Papis collected the outside position of row 1 in the Miller Lite car when rain showers canceled qualifying for Sunday's Harrah's 500 (Sunday 1:30 PM EDT ABC) at Michigan International Speedway. Grid order for the race was determined on practice times from Saturday morning.

As was the case on Friday, Brack and Papis in their Ford-Cosworth powered Lola cars topped the speed chart in the morning session. Brack posted a fast lap of 229.812 mph while Papis was second with a fast lap of 228.695 mph. When the qualifying session was rained out CART Chief Steward Chris Kneifel based the starting order on Saturday's practice times.

The dual front row start marks just the second time in Team Rahal history that both cars will start from the front row for a CART event. Team owner Bobby Rahal and Bryan Herta started from the front row at Long Beach in 1998.

For Brack, the CART points leader, the pole position is his fourth of the 2001 season and gives him six front row starts this year. Papis is making his second front row start of 2001 after having won the pole at Portland in mid-June.

Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "It is special for Team Rahal today. It's a team result. We have a pretty clear idea about the race for Sunday. It's a different game on a super speedway. It's important to keep the switch of the brain on. You don't relax too much. A 500-mile race is special because it's so American. I would love to win a 500-miler as a European. That would be an important achievement for me. Kenny has experienced that with his Indy 500 win. I came close two years ago and I want to reach that checkered flag this time."

Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "We don't really care how we take the pole. We've taken the pole in all types of circumstance. I think both Max and I would have had a strong possibility for the pole today. But in a race like this, it doesn't matter where you start. It will be a traffic jam in tomorrow's race. I don't know if you want to lead in the race but you want to balance to lead enough laps to gain the point. You just can't be in middle of things like we were last year here. You have to think about what you are doing to save fuel but also run with the leaders. It's nice to have Bobby here today for the front row. We'd like to make Bobby happy with a win on Sunday. Max is very fast but he might run short of fuel sometimes (laughing). "

BOBBY RAHAL (Co-owner of Team Rahal)
"I'm very happy with this weekend's performance so far. I'm quite please with Kenny and Max as well as Scott Roembke (General Manager and COO) and Mark Johnson (Director of Operations). They have been very well organized and taken a very professional process. I think everything has been under control and moving pretty smoothly. Sunday is a very long day and truly an engine test. They are dragging that wing around and putting stress on the engines. I've had some success here with three wins (1983, 1985, 1986). The chapters in book here were fulfilled. But times have changed. It seems that these cars draw better in street and road circuits and on ovals in cities lie Milwaukee and Chicago where the tracks were close to the metro areas. As a driver, I was always nervous about coming here. When I left, the sky was bluer and the grass was greener than before. The last couple of years, my heart has been in my throat with the type of racing here. It will extract everything from a driver. Sometimes 210 (mph) feels like 230 and sometimes 230 feels 210. A good car is much easier to drive here."

-TR

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Chris Kneifel , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack