Michel Jourdain, ...
Michel Jourdain, #9
Qualified 12th Finished: 15th
Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. suffered right front wing damage when Bruno Junqueira and Mario Dominguez made contact on the green flag lap. Jourdain came onto pit lane where his team changed his front wing, fueled the car, and changed tires returning the Mexican to the track in 15th position. Jourdain pitted again on Lap 7, his first green flag stop, to take on fuel and tires. As the veteran has done on a number of occasions this season, he advanced through the field yet again to hold sixth place by Lap 35. As the leaders began to pit, Jourdain ran as high as second (Lap 36) before pitting under yellow on Lap 38. Again, Jourdain moved through the field to fourth place by Lap 49. He once again ran as high as second on Lap 64, as the leaders came onto pit lane. Jourdain brought his No. 9 Gigante machine to pit lane on Lap 68 for his final green lap stop of the day returning to action in seventh and quickly claiming the number six spot. On Lap 73, a hard-charging Paul Tracy hit Jourdain as the Canadian exited the pit lane in Turn 1. The Gigante car suffered left side and right front damage. Champ Car officials gave Paul Tracy a drive through penalty for the altercation.
"Obviously, I'm extremely disappointed. It's a shame that Paul Tracy doesn't know how to compete fairly. I gave him enough room to race and he didn't return the favor. Someone hit me from behind at the start, so the Gigante crew and I had to work extremely hard to get into the top-six. It's a shame that our effort couldn't be rewarded with the result that we deserved."
Carl Russo, Team Owner
"Michel, once again, drives to the front. He got caught up in another first lap incident between Mario and Bruno and unfortunately broke a wing, so we had to bring him in and go to an alternate strategy. The strategy worked well; Michel drove hard. Paul, coming out of the pits, decided to try awfully hard. I think Michel had the line on this one. But that's what Champ Car racing is all about. Drivers fighting hard and they were fighting hard."