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MEXICAN F2 FINAL RACE After 11 grueling races and 5 different leaders throughout,the Marlboro Cup, official name of the Mexican F2 Championship, comes to an end tomorrow November 25th, at the "Rodriguez ...

MEXICAN F2 FINAL RACE

After 11 grueling races and 5 different leaders throughout,the Marlboro Cup, official name of the Mexican F2 Championship, comes to an end tomorrow November 25th, at the "Rodriguez Brothers" track in Mexico City. Last week was rainy but a searing sun is expected for tomorrow's race and temperatures should be around 25 centigrades at noon.

Only two drivers remain with possibilities for tomorrow's race: One is Jimmy Morales, who has been champion of most categories of racing in Mexico, and who once was touted as the "next Pedro Rodriguez", since he too started with motorcycles as a kid and by the early seventies was already driving Trans-Am cars at the age of 13, and now leads the Marlboro Team in the track; the other is Fernando Plata, the current F2 champion, and a few years ago champion of the B series of the British F3, whose career declined when he was unable to find adequate sponsorship for F3000 in Europe and had to return to Mexico, and he lead Team Canel's in their quest for a third consecutive title at the Constructors' Championship, and the second for him as a driver.

The scoring in this championship is the same as in other national championships organized by Belgian-born ex-driver Michel Jourdain. The winner gets 100 points, second place 80 points, third is good for 66 points, fourth gets 56, fifth 49, sixth 44, seventh 40, eight 37, ninth 35,tenth 33, eleventh 31, twelveth 29, thirteenth 27, fourteenth 25, fifteenth 24, sixteenth 23, seventeenth 23, eighteenth 22, nineteenth 21, and twentieth 20 points. Of course you must be within 90% of the distance covered by the winner to get points, but this distribution allows a good driver who's having a bad day to persevere in the race and complete it without losing too much distance in the standings (at least that's what Michel says). By the way, if the name Jourdain sounds familiar it's because brother Bernardo was Rookie of the Year at the Indy 500 a few years ago, and currently Michel Jr. runs as a teammate of Jimmy Morales and is a hopeless third in the championship.

The Marlboro Team, aka Garza Racing since it is led at the boxes by Josele Garza the Mexican sensation at the Indy 500 in 1981 who led the race and was finally given the Rookie award. His career also floundered for lack of sponsorship in the eighties ( remember it was the "lost decade" in Latin America) after an abortive try with Minardi F1 in 1987. They have another driver, Freddy Van Beuren Jr. (late of Vauxhall series in England and son of another famous Mexican driver who even run with Fred Opert's Team in Europe in the seventies), who is currently fifth in the championship. On the other side of the fence we have Team Martiga (aka Canel's Racing) whose Technical Director "Capi" (as in Captain) Martinez is reputedly the best engine whiz in Mexico. The #2 driver, and sixth in the current standings, is his brother Gerardo "Banana" Martinez, another multichampion in mexican series.

Jimmy Morales has won three times this year (Saltillo, La Laguna and Guadalajara) and has 747 points, while Fernando Plata has won four times (Leon, San Luis, Chihuahua and Queretaro) but has only 724 points, so if Jimmy can finish second he will be champion no matter what Fernando gets, but there are many other combinations which can give Plata (silver in Spanish) the gold. Other winner in the season were Gianfranco Cane (Zacatecas GP) from Team Herdez and currently fourth in the standings, Freddy Van Beuren (Pachuca GP) from Marlboro Racing, Jose Cordova (Monterrey GP) brazilian from Tecate Racing currently seventh , and Ruben Garcia-Novoa (Puebla GP) from Team Herdez currently ninth.

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