CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Mercedes Race Report

Hogan Racing's Helio Castro-Neves turned in a solid performance today for Mercedes-Benz as he finished seventh at the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Juan Montoya won the race from his starting ...

Hogan Racing's Helio Castro-Neves turned in a solid performance today for Mercedes-Benz as he finished seventh at the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Juan Montoya won the race from his starting position of eighth on the grid. Earlier today, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard finished one-two for the West McLaren Mercedes team in the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at the Hungaroring. With the victory, defending world champion Hakkinen (54 points) moved to within two points of Eddie Irvine, who leads the championship with 56 points. Meanwhile, Coulthard is now tied for third with Heinz-Harald Frentzen with 36 points. In the constructor's championship, McLaren is now only four points behind Ferrari. Ferrari leads with 94 points, while McLaren now has 90 points with five races remaining in the season. At Mid-Ohio, Player's/Forsythe Racing driver Greg Moore used skillful driving and excellent pit-stop strategy to move all the way from 25th on the grid to an 11th-place finish at the checkered flag. He was followed closely by PacWest Racing Motorola Mercedes driver Mark Blundell, who moved from 26th on the grid to 13th by the finish of the race. He too used careful pit strategy and skill behind the wheel to gain 13 positions during the race. Blundell's PacWest Racing teammate, Mauricio Gugelmin, experienced mechanical problems with his Hollywood Mercedes on lap 76 of the 83-lap race, and finished in the 20th position. Luiz Garcia Jr., in his first race as teammate to Hogan Racing's Castro-Neves, had clutch failure which caused his race car to spin on course. He was unable to continue and finished 24th. Al Unser Jr. crashed in Turn One on lap 54. He climbed unhurt from his Marlboro Team Penske Mercedes after impacting the tire wall. He was listed in 25th position at the end of the race.

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 9, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (Seventh) "As soon as we put on the second set of tires, the steering on the car was very heavy. I was just trying not to make any mistakes. To finish in the top 10 was important for us. Towards the end I was comfortable-the car was much better."

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (11th) "Our strategy was good today. Each time we made a pit stop we stayed out a lap later than most of the field and that enabled us to gain positions. We got a couple of points, which was better than we did here last year."

Mark Blundell, No. 18, PacWest Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (13th) "The guys gave me some great stops and we had a good car, so it's a shame we couldn't come away with some points. It was a real workout. This circuit is one of the most physically demanding that we race, and I knew today would be a challenge. I have to say I'm pretty exhausted. My neck is a lot more tired than it was after the Detroit race."

Luiz Garcia Jr., No. 21, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (24th) "I lost the clutch. I tried left-foot braking for a while to overcome the problem, but in the Carousel I tried to downshift and the rear wheels locked up and I lost it."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Al Unser Jr. , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell , Greg Moore , Luiz Garcia
Teams Team Penske