CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach Mercedes Race Notes

Race: Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif. Date/Session: Sunday, April 18, 1999 Race Results Mercedes-Powered Moore Finishes Eighth at Long Beach Mercedes-powered Player's/Forsythe driver Greg Moore retained ...

Race: Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif. Date/Session: Sunday, April 18, 1999 Race Results

Mercedes-Powered Moore Finishes Eighth at Long Beach

Mercedes-powered Player's/Forsythe driver Greg Moore retained his lead in the PPG Driver's Championship points race with an eighth-place finish in the 25th Annual Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third round of the CART FedEx Championship Series. High temperatures (reaching 114 degrees F. on the 1.824-mile temporary road course) and a tougher, revamped circuit caused tire problems for several Mercedes drivers. PacWest Motorola's Mark Blundell ran over debris and sustained a flat rear tire on lap 15, which put him a lap down to the leaders. Teammate Mauricio Gugelmin's PacWest Hollywood race car was hit from behind on the same lap, and sustained rear wing damage and a flat tire as well. Blundell and Gugelmin finished 13th and 14th, respectively.

Moore's teammate, Patrick Carpentier, suffered a flat right rear tire on lap one causing a spin. He finished in 17th position. Hogan Racing's Helio Castro-Neves finished 19th after suffering mechanical problems when a tear-off sheet from his helmet lodged in the engine intake. Rookie Tarso Marques, driving the Marlboro Penske Mercedes while Al Unser Jr. recovers from a broken ankle, made contact with other drivers on laps 21 and 27, and retired uninjured in 25th place. Meanwhile, Epson/Bettenhausen Motorsports rookie Shigeaki Hattori made contact with the wall on the first lap of morning warm up and was forced to start his back up car. He retired in 26th position after sliding into the tire barrier at turn two on lap 22.

The FedEx Championship Series moves to Nazareth, Pa., for the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway on Sunday, May 2.

Mercedes Quotes

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (Eighth) "That's about all we could do today with this car. My car was better than a lot of guys through the turns, but we lost a lot on the straights. I guess we've still got some work to do."

Mark Blundell, No. 18, Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (13th) "It was a long day with a disappointing result. We started 12th and I was running well until lap 14 when I must have run over some debris and I picked up a puncture in the right rear tire. I had to drive to the pits on three wheels, like a tricycle. We were running as fast as the leaders but when the late-race yellow flag cam out, I couldn't get the lap back."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, Hollywood Mercedes/Firestone (14th) "PJ (Jones) hit me in the back and gave me the puncture in my rear tire. That put me a lap behind. It is really hard to make up laps on a road course. With all the yellows, we couldn't make it back today."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (17th) "This was the best car I've ever had on a street course. Unfortunately, somebody spun me in the last corner at the beginning of the race. My engine was good. Towards the end of the race I was lifting early to save fuel, but I was still catching the people in front of me. If I had not been saving fuel I think I would have had a shot at passing (Christian) Fittipaldi at the end."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 9, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (19th) "Our set up was great today, but we had some bad luck with that tear-off, and it took a couple of laps to diagnose that this was the problem. Turn Six was difficult; you had to be careful not to misjudge it. If you were behind someone who was in the marbles, it was even tougher."

Tarso Marques, No. 2, Marlboro Team Penske Mercedes/Goodyear (25th) "My car was very good-much better than in practice. I just had several problems. On the restart (after the yellow flag on lap 24), I tried to pass some cars on the inside of turn one but there wasn't enough room. Although I locked the brakes up, several cars bumped and my right front suspension broke - ending my day. It's a shame because our race set up was really good. My Mercedes engine put the power down well and the straightaway speed was fantastic. The competition was really close and I enjoyed running with these guys."

Results, Grand Prix of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif. April 18, 1999

Pos. Driver Engine Laps 1 Juan Montoya (R) Honda 85 2 Dario Franchitti Honda 85 3 Bryan Herta Ford Cosworth 85 4 Adrian Fernandez Ford Cosworth 85 5 Christian Fittipaldi Ford Cosworth 85 6 Gil de Ferran Honda 85 7 Michael Andretti Ford Cosworth 85 8 Greg Moore Mercedes-Benz 85 9 Max Papis Ford Cosworth 85 10 Jimmy Vasser Honda 85 13 Mark Blundell Mercedes-Benz 84 14 Mauricio Gugelmin Mercedes-Benz 84 17 Patrick Carpentier Mercedes-Benz 84 19 Helio Castro-Neves Mercedes-Benz 76 25 Tarso Marques Mercedes-Benz 24 26 Shigeaki Hattori Mercedes-Benz 21

Driver's Championship: Manufacturer's Championship Greg Moore 39 points Honda 53 Adrian Fernandez 33 Ford Cosworth 51 Gil de Ferran 33 Mercedes-Benz 39

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Shigeaki Hattori , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Tarso Marques , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Mark Blundell , Greg Moore
Teams Team Penske