'Passing will be hard' warn drivers

After last weekend's feast of overtaking in the Michigan 500, leading CART drivers are warning that fans could be left watching a procession in Sunday's Target Grand Prix of Chicago

'Passing will be hard' warn drivers

The aerodynamic changes that have made the superspeedway races so thrilling in recent years have not produced a similar spectacle on the shorter ovals.

"The Chicago speedway is a very wide track with tight corners," explained Penske's Helio Castroneves. "There is basically one racing line and passing is going to be difficult."

Patrick Racing's Adrian Fernandez believes that the race will be won through clever strategy rather than the kind of wheel-to-wheel tussling that saw Juan Montoya beat Michael Andretti by a scant 0.04s at Michigan.

"It is going to be tough to pass so qualifying is going to be very important," Fernandez said. "Race strategy and pit work will be key."

Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy disagreed however:

"You can do a lot of things on that track," he said. "There are wide passing lanes and plenty of opportunities to go wheel-to-wheel. I expect it will be another exciting race, with lots of drivers in contention at the finish."

However difficult, or easy, overtaking turns out to be in Sunday's race, the field will certainly be very closely matched. In last month's major test at the venue, the top 18 cars were within a second of pacesetter Cristiano da Matta's best time. After heading that session, the young Brazilian is planning a repeat performance this weekend.

"I have very high expectations," he said. "We tested very, very well there and I think we will have a really good car. We had our best oval car there, better than we have ever had on an oval before, so I am really looking forward to it."

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