TORONTO, Canada (July 7, 2002)-- Today was not one of the more memorable days at the Molson Indy Toronto for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti. Â After victories at this event on seven occasions and the most recent being back to back in...
TORONTO, Canada (July 7, 2002)-- Today was not one of the more memorable days at the Molson Indy Toronto for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti. After victories at this event on seven occasions and the most recent being back to back in 2000 and 2001, the streak was broken with today's 11th place finish. "Today was tough," said Andretti. "I hope we got all of our bad luck out of the way because we certainly had enough of it today."
Andretti started today's race in 18th position and had moved into 16th place on the first lap. Andretti was racing hard during the first half of the race but unfortunately locked up his tires and slid into the runoff area on lap 40 putting him down one lap. "We struggled a bit with our handling on the race car today," said Green. "Michael hung in there in some very tough conditions." Things didn't improve much as the race continued and Michael continued to fight the ill-handling car and tried to keep pace with the race. Despite the problems, Andretti stayed in the race and was able to hang on for an 11th place finish, earning him two championship points.
Cristiano daMatta won today's race and continues in first place in the championship with 118 points. Kenny Brack finished second and Christian Fittipaldi finished third. Bruno Junqueira remains in second place in the championship with 70 points while Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti is still in third with 64 points despite finishing 13th in today's race. Michael's other technical partner Paul Tracy finished 16th in today's race after fighting braking problems for most of the race and is currently in tenth place in the championship with 36 points. Team Motorola now has 36 championship points and is in 11th place in the championship battle.
Team Motorola will now return to their shop in Indianapolis and begin preparations for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland to be held next Sunday, July 14.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"It was a disaster of a weekend. The car wasn't handling very well in the beginning of the race and I locked the tires up and went straight into the runoff and lost a lap. Then, it seemed like things just kept going wrong for the rest of the day. I think today made up for all the good luck I've had in Toronto, we got all of the bad luck in one year. I was really sliding around today and locking them up and just basically wearing my tires out so it was really difficult to stay on the pace. I guess this is a weekend we would just like to forget."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"We had a pretty tough weekend here in Toronto. We weren't able to qualify properly because of some mechanical problems in the race car and it didn't get much better today. We struggled a bit with our handling with the race car and were using our tires a bit too hard so it was difficult to stay at a reasonable pace. As the track got more rubber down the car got better but we still need a better set up on the race car. Michael hung in there in some pretty tough conditions and avoided most incidents so at the end we ended up in 11th place and earned a couple of points which is certainly better than not finishing. I think we need to keep building on our experience with this race car and we're beginning to understand it more each race weekend so I think Cleveland will be very good."