CHAMPCAR/CART: Mercedes Toronto Race Report

FedEx Championship Series Report Race: Molson Indy, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Date/Session: Sunday, July 18, 1999 Race Results "Super Sub" Moreno Takes Fourth at Toronto Mercedes Pilots Unser Jr. and ...

FedEx Championship Series Report

Race:           Molson Indy, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date/Session:   Sunday, July 18, 1999           Race Results

"Super Sub" Moreno Takes Fourth at Toronto Mercedes Pilots Unser Jr. and Carpentier Also Nab Points

The Mercedes-Benz IC108E Phase III engine powered the PacWest Motorola Mercedes of "Super Sub" Roberto Moreno to a fourth-place finish behind wire-to-wire winner Dario Franchitti at Sunday's Molson Indy at Toronto's Exhibition Place. Mercedes drivers Al Unser Jr. and Patrick Carpentier also earned championship points with solid performances from their teams and their equipment. With a well-executed early pit-stop strategy and an inspired charge around the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit, Moreno surged forward from his 17th-place starting position to match his best PacWest result (fourth at May's Motorola 300). The Brazilian scored PPG Cup points for the sixth time since stepping into the cockpit as a substitute for injured driver Mark Blundell. The 95-lap event was not without incident for Player's/Forsythe Mercedes teammates and Canada's native sons Carpentier and Greg Moore. At the green flag, Moore's Mercedes hustled quickly from 10th place up to sixth on turn three. On that same turn on lap 12, Moore's Champ Car was shoved airborne from behind by Michael Andretti's race car, but Moore was able to return to the race. Later, on a restart, Moore made side-to-side contact with Unser Jr., and spun sideways, stalling his No. 99 Player's/Forsythe Mercedes. Moore subsequently retired on lap 66 with a water leak. Debris from the Moore-Andretti incident cut Carpentier's rear tire, forcing him to make an unscheduled pit stop. Carpentier fought back to capture a points-paying 11th-place finish. Unser Jr., starting a Champ Car-record 265th race, earned his third consecutive top-10 finish by grabbing ninth place in his Marlboro Team Penske Mercedes. Hollywood Mercedes driver Mauricio Gugelmin started 16th, and raced as high as fourth place with PacWest's successful early-pit strategy. Mid-race, both he and teammate Moreno pitted under green but were frustrated when the yellow flag came out a few laps later, allowing the leaders to pit without losing position. While running in ninth position in the final laps, Gugelmin spun the car while fighting off Unser Jr., and finished 14th. Rookie Shigeaki Hattori brushed the wall and sustained suspension damage to his Epson Bettenhausen Mercedes. Hattori was credited with 23rd place. Helio Castro-Neves suffered a day of disappointment when his Hogan Racing Mercedes experienced transmission problems, forcing the sophomore pilot to retire early. The CART FedEx Championship Series moves south to the high-banked oval at Michigan International Speedway as Greg Moore defends his title at the U.S. 500 on June 26.

Mercedes Quotes

Roberto Moreno, No. 18, PacWest Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (Fourth / 95 laps) "Our game was fuel strategy, and it was perfect today. The team put a great car out there for me, and they gave me great pit stops. It's fantastic to come from 17th to fourth, especially on a street circuit like this. It took a lot of strategy, and it paid off. I'm very happy."

Al Unser Jr., No. 2, Marlboro Team Penske Mercedes/Goodyear (Ninth / 95 laps) "Marlboro Team Penske had a really good run today. The driveability of the car in the race was the best it's been all weekend. The Mercedes engine didn't miss a beat, and the Goodyear tires were consistent. It was great to move up during the race and get another top-10 finish. "I'm looking forward to next week's race in Michigan. We had a good test there a couple of weeks ago, and based on that, we've decided to run the Penske chassis. Hopefully we can keep some momentum behind us, and get in the points again."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (11th / 95 laps) "A piece of a wing from Greg and Michael came up in the air and hit my rear tire. I was happy that it wasn't my head! The car was good today, and we had no problems. Mercedes has a powerful engine, and we are looking forward to Michigan next week."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, PacWest Hollywood Mercedes/Firestone (14th / 95 laps) "I was able to conserve fuel, and the guys were great in the pits today. Actually, the team did an excellent job all weekend. It's unfortunate that I made a little mistake in turn eight right before the end of the race. I was driving as hard as I could to keep ahead of Al Unser Jr."

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (20th / 66 laps) "We had an awesome start, probably the best start of the whole year. The hole opened up, and I took it. That was definitely the high point. To get knocked (by Andretti) while running sixth was frustrating, but we were only one lap down until I got hit in turn 3 by Al. Our goal was to finish in the points, and so this (water leak) is unfortunate. I thought we'd be in the top five today."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 9, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (27th/ 10 laps) "I have no idea what happened. I had a coin in my pocket for good luck, but I guess we'll have to keep trying."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Shigeaki Hattori , Michael Andretti , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , Greg Moore
Teams Team Penske