CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Andretti's 300th career start on Sunday

Andretti takes 300TH career start & will assume team ownership for 2003 season. Vancouver, British Columbia- July 26, 2002 (RFN) - Following this weeks announcement that he will own a majority interest in CART's Team Green becoming the chief ...

Andretti takes 300TH career start & will assume team ownership for 2003 season.

Vancouver, British Columbia- July 26, 2002 (RFN) - Following this weeks announcement that he will own a majority interest in CART's Team Green becoming the chief executive officer, Michael Andretti will also take his 300th career start at the 2002 Molson Indy Vancouver on Sunday July 28th.

With this monumental ownership announcement no details as to the direction the newly formed team of Andretti Green Racing in the 2003 season have been released as Andretti's Team Motorola continues to focus on results for the current season.

"I'm just real excited about it, this will be a new stage for me in life and my career. I'm pretty happy the way it all came together", said Andretti.

In the past Michael has commented that he would continue to race as long as he remained competitive, with this ownership announcement he comments, "It has not all been totally decided yet. I'm hoping I will still drive, the plan is that I should do it, but it's not one hundred percent yet."

As the CART series continues to struggle for position in the highly competitive world of open wheel racing with the Indy Racing League as it's chief competition, there was no indication from Andretti as to which series the newly formed Andretti Green Racing would race in the 2003 season.

"I don't know what is going to happen there, it's going to be totally up to the sponsors. It's going to come up to Chris Pook (CART CEO) and if he can sell our sponsors into staying. Cart is in a real critical time right now if it can get through the next six months it has a shot of surviving", said Andretti.

In his second year racing with Barry Green's Team Motorola Andretti can only speculate as to how many cars his new team will race. Barry Green also fields two cars with Team Cool Green and divers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti.

"The hope is that we will have the same amount of cars as we have now with this new team, but we are still working out many things," comments Andretti.

During the first practice prior to qualifying for the Molson Indy Vancouver Andretti looped his #39 Reynard chassis into the turn one tire barrier flattening the left rear tire and knocking off the rear wing.

The crew would roll out the backup car which allowed Andretti seat time on the tight Vancouver road course while crew members went to work making repairs on the primary car.

Andretti comments, "They have smoothed out a few on the rough spots on the course but it is still pretty bumpy out there. There wasn't much damage done to the primary car and it will be ready when it's time to qualify."

Andretti's team had success with repairs, with virtually no laps in the primary car Andretti brought home a respectable seventh position in the starting grid. While Team Kool Green technical partner Paul Tracy set fast time driving his #26 Honda powered Lola chassis, and will start from the pole position.

"We've been getting better each week with the Lola. Today it was difficult to get a clear lap because the course it short. We were plagued by traffic and I was a little frustrated at first. My first lap was about 80 percent because we were just trying to get up to speed. There was a lot left in the car when we turned that lap. I think if you talk to anybody out there they will tell you they could have gone faster. We got out there at the right time", Tracy said.

With national pride Tracy comments, "This is a great position to be in as a Canadian. Starting on the front row here as we did in Toronto, is going to be a big help on tight course such as this one.

Racing will begin for the Molson Indy Vancouver at 1:30 pm in Vancouver BC on Sunday July 28th.

-gf-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Barry Green