CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto Ford Saturday notes & quotes

Michael Andretti (57.666) was the fastest Ford on Saturday, qualifying a season-best third for tomorrow's 2000 Molson Indy. A three-time champion (1992, 1994 and 1995) of the Molson Indy, Andretti has qualified among the top 10 in all 14 of his...

Michael Andretti (57.666) was the fastest Ford on Saturday, qualifying a season-best third for tomorrow's 2000 Molson Indy. A three-time champion (1992, 1994 and 1995) of the Molson Indy, Andretti has qualified among the top 10 in all 14 of his previous appearances in Toronto and enters Sunday's race 22 points behind Roberto Moreno in the CART FedEx Championship Series' Driver's Championship. Helio Castroneves (57.200) claimed the pole position while Christiano da Matta (57.539) qualified second.

A record crowd turned out for Saturday's events at the Molson Indy. A total of 52,535 fans attended practice and qualifying for tomorrow's CART race, eclipsing the previous mark of 52,224 fans, which came out in 1998.


MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 3rd - "The morning wasn't bad. I didn't get real clear laps, but I was pretty happy with the way the car was. This afternoon I was able to put a good lap in early. Then we made a change halfway through the session and I think the car was even better than that. But then on my second set of tires I never got the optimum out of it because I was blocked by (Juan) Montoya when I was on my best lap and I was never able to get it done after that, so I was a little bit disappointed. (I'm) not sure that I had enough for Helio (Castroneves) but I know I had enough to at least be on the front row, so it was a little bit disappointing. But we're third and that's the important thing. We're up front and it's a long race, so anything can happen."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 6th - "The car was fine, but when I tried to push and attack it the car was all over the place. I thought we had a shot at it (the pole) but we're in third now."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 7th - HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO BEING ABLE TO IMPROVE ON YOUR TIME? "We couldn't because that was the last set of tires and there was about three minutes to go, so we just did that run and I was going to watch the rest (of qualifying) from the pits, but I had to watch from Turn Three. Nice View." THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME FOR YOU TO RUN THIS CIRCUIT. GIVE ME YOUR IMPRESSIONS. "It's a little bit of a tricky course because there's a lot of bumps and under braking it's hard to get grip, but I think we've done a fair job. The crew did great today and we did good."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 9th - "Unfortunately we didn't get a clean lap on my second set of tires. My segment in the first corner was very good, unfortunately I was blocked on that lap. There was so much grip in those first two laps, and I was trying to redo that lap but I just didn't have the grip at the end. But that was a good effort at the end with all the problems we had at the end of the day yesterday."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 14th - "I just couldn't get a clear lap today and it's very frustrating. I tried for eight different laps to get an open track and I just kept running into traffic. I said a few things on the radio I couldn't repeat. I slowed down several times to create some more space for a clear lap and it just didn't work. The car was sliding a little bit but not too bad. It was just a matter of getting away from traffic and I couldn't today. We'll have to make the most of our chances in Sunday's race."

ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 16th - "The car was loose and we didn't have a very good qualifying effort. I spun the car at the end because I was trying very hard and I over did it. Overall I am quite happy with the car for tomorrow. We tried a different set up for today and it didn't work out, but we know what we need to do. The crew will work very hard tonight to get the car sorted out. We will go over tomorrow's strategy and I am sure the team will give me a good car and a good effort tomorrow. I was just reminded that I started 17th here last year and still managed to finish fourth, so Toronto is a race that you can move up and finish in the top five even when you qualify back on the grid."

"I am very realistic about how competitive this championship race is going to be. The media had given me a lot of attention the last two or three weeks, but I think I have kept both my feet on the ground. You have to treat each race as a new challenge. You have to take the situation one race at a time"

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 17th - "We're not very happy. The car is good. That is what's very frustrating. In the middle of the corner when they take my times we're as fast as (Juan) Montoya and Kenny Brack, but we cannot put the car down. We're running with settings that we usually run in the rain. We've got to go down on the engine settings so much to put the power down that we're losing time in the exits (of turns). Besides that the car would be good. We're starting from the back but we always have a better car in the race because with the full tanks the car is heavier and it's easier for us to put the power down. But when you start from the back it's tough for me, and for everybody on the team."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 19th - "Well I'm really disappointed to have that kind of car for qualifying. I'm pretty sure that when we put the car on the track for the race it's going to be a totally different car. It's always like this. We cannot have a good car for qualifying, but our car seems to be good for the race. But this track is very different from the previous track (Cleveland) and it's going to be very tough to pass. So we're going to try to have good strategy and work our way toward the front."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Roberto Moreno , Kenny Brack