Mexico City report 96-04-14

[This report delayed in transmission -- our apologies] WILLIAMS WINS IN THE SECOND ROUND OF THE MEXICAN TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP by CAJAL The second round of the MTC, also known as the Neon Cup, was won by drivers Jorge Williams and J. Campero ...

[This report delayed in transmission -- our apologies]

WILLIAMS WINS IN THE SECOND ROUND OF THE MEXICAN TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP by CAJAL

The second round of the MTC, also known as the Neon Cup, was won by drivers Jorge Williams and J. Campero after 170 grueling laps to the 1 mile oval of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City. The only qualifying session took place Saturday, April 13, 1996, (most series in Mexico have gone to 1 qualifying day in order to cut costs, or maybe the Max and Bernie show is taking hold here too) was won by the TF Victor teammates, and brothers, and winners of the first round of the MTC, Eduardo and Patrick Goeters with a time of 40.403 seconds. Miguel Reyes/Alfonso Oros, polesitters in the first race, were next in their two liters Ceta Racing Neon with 40.416 and then came Miguel Alfageme/Alfredo Galland, Germán Quiroga/J.L.Carrete (OQUI Racing), Claus Schinkel/Gildo Gutierrez (the same Claus who went to the British F3 about 15 years ago), Ricardo Abarca/Jesus Robles (Tecate Racing), and another 33 driver twosomes, all in Chrysler Neons. Missing among the prominent drivers of this series was Michel Jourdain Jr. who was taking the start at Long Beach IndyCar race in a Lola-Ford of the Herdez Competition Team (Dick Simon was the teamowner until recently), becoming the youngest driver to participate in that series, and will be racing in Indy 500 next May (also as the youngest ever). Not bad for the 19 year old former MTC driver.

Race day was sunny, bright, and not too hot and since no driver can run more than 65% of the race, at least a driver change was in order but there was talk of some teams having several pit stops prepared in order to run light most of the race.The start was chaotic to say the least, and at times it seems as if there were too many cars in the race, maybe 2 heats with 20 cars each would be a better bet with the 10 best cars in each qualifying for a final, shorter, race. There were several yellow flags which slowed the pace considerably and the Goeters, Williams, and other pairings were always in contention, but around lap 100 when the pace car went out because of another round of yellows.

Several drivers took the chance to pit but later went out and passed the pace car to get their positions back in a flagrant violation of the rules. Instead of using black flags to call them back to the boxes, the series director Mr. Rovelo, went to the track side, jumped into it and tried to pull some drivers by their ears (at least that's what it looked like) while they were driving at close to racing speed, and he had no protection, not even a marshall with flags to warn the drivers (marshalls aren't suicidal in Mexico). I'm not sure of his success but soon he was back in the boxes, fuming, and the race was on. Williams first lead soon after and he kept the lead through another series of yellows, showing why he has been champion in the MTC in previous years in the GTIII category (under 2 liters with a VW Golf).

With a few laps to go the yellows were out again and the race, contrary to regulations which say that the last two laps should be run under green flag, ended that way, causing a lot of drivers to complain since they were saving the best for the last, among them the Goeters brother which fell from the top 5. Williams/Campero won in 2 hours 16 minutes 40 seconds and 2 tenths, followed by Eugenio Martin del Campo/Paco Gomez, German Quiroga/J.L.Carrete, Lopez/Perez, and Reyes/Oros.

The championship standings show the Goeters Bros. still leading it with 144 points (remember 100 points goes to the winner), with Williams/Campero second with 129, Reyes/Oros with 115, Alfageme/Gallant with 89 and defending champion Freddy Tame/Carlos Contreras with 80.

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Series General
Drivers Carlos Contreras , German Quiroga , Dick Simon , Michel Jourdain
Teams Williams