CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Penske Motegi race notes

"All-in-all it was a great weekend -- even though we came up a little bit short at the finish. The car handled well throughout the race and we were definitely capable of winning. I had a good start and was able to maintain the lead for the first...

"All-in-all it was a great weekend -- even though we came up a little bit short at the finish. The car handled well throughout the race and we were definitely capable of winning. I had a good start and was able to maintain the lead for the first 84 laps thanks to great work by the Marlboro Team Penske crew in the pits. I ran by myself most of the day, but when I was in traffic I tried to draft to conserve fuel which was our strategy. Andy Borme, my engineer, and the Team gave me a great car. I'd also like to thank Honda and Firestone for all of their work. We made a good gain in points, heading to Milwaukee in second place in the championship standings."

-- Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, #3 2001 Marlboro Honda Reynard
-- 2nd place finish
-- 2nd place in CART FedEx Series point standings with 47 points, two behind the leader Brack

"The Japan race started out with great promise but it turned out to be a very frustrating day. At the start, I was boxed in heavy traffic in turn two and a few cars got by, but I missed Junqueira's spin. We settled down to run a good race pace and the Marlboro car was quite good until the middle of the race. After a small front wing adjustment, the handling improved and I could run better in traffic.

I was lying third with just 7 laps to go when all of the sudden a small fire broke out at the back of the car. Unfortunately, we experienced high temperature on an oil line to the gear box which finally let go and ended our day. It's a good example of learning something new about the car which we can apply in our preparation for the Milwaukee race."

-- Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, #1 2001 Marlboro Honda Reynard
-- 13th place finish
-- 6th place in CART FedEx Series point standings with 30 points, 19 behind the leader Brack

-MTP

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran
Teams Team Penske