CASTRONEVES DOMINATED BUT DE FERRAN WON AT PORTLAND Joao Martin - motorsport.com After a weekend in the top of time tables, Helio Castroneves saw the victory go down the drain due to a different strategy. Gil de Ferran, who qualifyed first in...
CASTRONEVES DOMINATED BUT DE FERRAN WON AT PORTLAND
Joao Martin - motorsport.com
After a weekend in the top of time tables, Helio Castroneves saw the victory go down the drain due to a different strategy. Gil de Ferran, who qualifyed first in Friday's first round, pited for tires and fuel within 28 laps to go, was able to keep the gap to Castroneves and got the pace after Castroneves pited for a splash and go, lasting 9 laps to the end.
This is second win for de Ferran, third consecutive for Penske this season, and is a new record for Portland track with 109,564 mph average speed. "Roger called a fantastic race. After the first pit stop the car was better; after second stop it was just fantastic and I was able to put in some great laps. I couldn't be happier" declared de Ferran.
Second was Roberto Moreno, 2.625 s behind, and third, coming from a early pit stop recovery Christian Fittipaldi, 8.982 s after the winner, completing for the first time in CART history a full Brasilian podium.
"My tires stayed the same all the way through. I want to thank the whole Visteon crew, they did a fantastic job. The "super-sub" comes to the podium again!" grinned Moreno.
What played a very important rule for strategy during the race was the only one full coarse yellow flag in lap one, during three laps. This was the key for the dilemma between fuel saving and speed. The race duration was 2h00m46.002s around the 1,906 miles road coarse, while the best lap of the race was by Brack with 1:00.300 s.
Juan Montoya, the defending champion had engine problems wich stoped out of turn one. "I went to the power and it wouldn't rev. We've struggled with set up all weekend, it's a shame because the championship is slipping away. The car wasn't that bad but half way trhough the race we were really fighting the tires and there wasn't much we could do. We need to focus and gain some points in Cleveland next weekend" commented Montoya.
In the top seven, five are brasilians drivers, including a podium sweep, four engines are Ford's, two Honda's and one Toyota. The best Mercedes in the final is Luiz Garcia with a 14th place and most improved driver was Shinji Nakano, started 21th and finished 11th, earning the Budweiser Hard Charger Award. Patrick Carpentier was fined US$10,000 for not respecting a blue flag waves by officials. Next round will be in Cleveland, next weekend.
Moreno takes the lead in the championship with 68 points, followed closely by de ferran, 67, Paul Tracy, 59, Michael Andretti 56 and Jimmy Vasser 54.