Garcia Jr. Records Best Finish and First Ever Point in CART Competition Notes Luiz Garcia Jr. bounced back from an early off track excursion and came back to finish 12th in the Long Beach Grand Prix, Sunday afternoon. It was the best finish...
Garcia Jr. Records Best Finish and First Ever Point in CART Competition
Luiz Garcia Jr. bounced back from an early off track excursion and came back to finish 12th in the Long Beach Grand Prix, Sunday afternoon.
It was the best finish of his two-year CART career plus it was the first FedEx Championship point for him and the Project Racing Group team. Garcia's previous best was 14th place at the Cleveland Grand Prix last season. The point made up for a troubling weekend for the Project Racing Group as various difficulties with the car had prevented Garcia from qualifying higher than 24th.
Garcia did have an anxious moment early in the race as he was following Juan Montoya. Entering Turn 9, Montoya braked late as did Garcia and Garcia ended up in the run off area. He lost several laps, however was able to get his 1999 Hollywood-Embratel-Tang-Reynard/Mercedes-Benz back in the race action.
It may also mark the last race for the 99 Reynard, as the team expects the 2000 package to be ready for the Rio race in two weeks.
"This was a tough race to keep up my concentration, but I decided to keep pushing hard and try to achieve something. I drove like I was in first place and that helped me. The car didn't have the greatest balance and the steering was heavy, but in the end it was worth it. This is great for the team and me. They did a fantastic job."
On Going Off in Turn 9
"I was trying to follow Montoya, and tucked in behind him, but he braked too late and so did I and I ended up going off. It took a while to get the car going again, and it's a shame I lost a few laps because I might have been able to finish higher."
"It's going to get a lot better from now on. I should have the 2000 Hollywood car at Rio and I'll be even more motivated to run well in my home country. I'm so happy to have my first point. Before the race, that was a goal of mine and I achieved it, now my goals will be higher." -- Luis Garcia Jr., Driver
"We had a tough weekend, but Luiz kept his head in there and brought home a point for him and the team. Luiz did a good job with the Hollywood car under the circumstances and it's nice he will go home to Brazil with his and the team's first point. We are definitely ready to get the 2000 equipment on the track and we plan to test at Putnam Park later this week." -- Andreas Leberle, General Manager