CHAMPCAR/CART: Alex Zanardi comments on Portland

Portland: "Like the first love, you never forget the first win!" About Zanardi & Portland 1996 - Rookie - Start on Pole - got his 1st Win and finished 3rd on the Championship 1997 - Start 7th - finished 11th & 1997 won his 1st Title 1998 - ...

Portland: "Like the first love, you never forget the first win!"

About Zanardi & Portland

1996 - Rookie - Start on Pole - got his 1st Win and finished 3rd on the Championship
1997 - Start 7th - finished 11th & 1997 won his 1st Title
1998 - Start 5th - got his 2nd win in Portland & 1998 won his 2nd Title
2001 - Out of the race - on contact - 1st lap.

Quote - Alex Zanardi on Portland:

"Portland is a permanent road course built in a beautiful State, which is for me a fantastic area for many reasons. The downside is that the weather is so unpredictable that it's not uncommon to start the race on the dry and end with the rain as it happened to me in 1996 when I won my first Champ Car race."

"Obviously my feelings for Portland are quite special because that's where I obtained one of my greatest career satisfactions; like the first love you never forget the first win!"

"It's not a long track, but it's quite difficult to overtake unless you have the opportunity to draft someone on the long straight because in turn one you have a great breaking point and you can complete the maneuver. The course it's pretty technical and you have to set-up the car quite well because if you don't you can end up with a lot of under steering during the race, but overall I believe it's a good place to come and race."

Quote - Alex Zanardi on his health:

"My physical condition is remarkably excellent because after what I've been through it's a bless that I could get back to a normal life. I really feel great and I don't have to do any particular everyday rehab, but just be concerned about the rehab when I decide on new components I like to try, but life is great! My living is very similar to what it used to be and that it's a great accomplishment. I'm now at a point where I can make any decision like in the past and as you know I now drive in the ETCC - European Touring Car Championship with a BMW 320i of Team BMW Italy-Spain run by Ravaglia Motorsport."

Quote - Alex Zanardi on his racing:

BMW Team Italy-Spain - # 4 - Alessandro Zanardi (ITA)

Next Race:
27th June / GRB / Donington Park
31st July / BEL / Spa Francorchamps
5th September / ITA / Imola
19th September / GER / Oschersleben
8th October / UAE / Dubai

"It's not really a come back because from my point of view I never quit racing; I was forced to stop because of the accident. After the rehab, which has been my priority for many months, as soon as I had the possibility to choose I spoke with my family and I decided to resume my racing activity."

"I'm not afraid nor I feel I'm in any danger, actually I have an advantage because if something happens I will just need a tool in order to fix my leg!"

Zanardi in the News:

Alex Zanardi played a fundamental role in convincing a young 36-year-old woman from Rome to accept a second leg amputation after she had decided to give up and die. Francesca, who is also a mother of a 12-year-old boy, suffers from a rare disease and was determined not to live without legs. The discrete meeting between Alex Zanardi and Francesca took place two days ago, but has not been publicized until today when hospital Professor Bollero delivered the news. Alex Zanardi spent three hours from 8:45 pm to 11:45 pm convincing the woman to accept the second amputation. Francesca's story touched many people including Italian singer Claudio Baglioni and Rome's mayor. According to Italian web site the surgery went well and the women may be home soon, maybe within 10 to 15 days.

Alex Zanardi & Portland - Year-by-Year

1996 - Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 - Portland, OR
1996 - Rookie - Start on Pole - got his 1st Win and finished 3rd on the Championship

June 21, 1996 Friday Quotes from ALEX ZANARDI :
"We encountered two problems today. First, I had to learn the track. It's the first time I've been here, so I needed to learn the circuit and its requirements. Second, we ran both cars at practice and decided to go with the backup car after problems with the primary car. We made a lot of adjustments during qualifying and gained a lot. I am very confident we'll continue to make the right adjustments for tomorrow.[On Portland] "I love the area. I went to the seaside on Thursday, and it was simply gorgeous. All the forests, mountains - it's one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. I think I could live here."

Sunday: June 23, 1996
A brief shower at mid-race had sent many cars to the pits for rain tires, and many others off the track attempting to weather the damp conditions on slicks. Zanardi and the Target Chip Ganassi Team had gambled that the rain would pass and stayed on slicks, and Zanardi cashed in on careful driving during wet conditions. By the end of the race, Zanardi's lead was more than nine seconds over second-place Gil de Ferran and more than eleven-and-a-half seconds over third place Christian Fittipaldi.

Final Results
1 4 Alex Zanardi 98 6625.401 103.837 167.074

Sunday Quote from ALEX ZANARDI :"The car was running like a violin. Everything was perfect. I just had to drive from beginning to end. I felt a vibration near the end. I thought something was going to fall off. It feels like a dream tastes great. I want to get used to the taste."I saw 10 to go and they were the 10 longest laps of my life. Rain was the only thing that could have stopped us."

1997 - Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 - Portland - Oregon - June 20 - June 22, 1997
1997 - Start 7th finished 11th - and won his 1st Title PPG CART World Series

QUOTE ALEX ZANARDI: "What can I say? I am very, very disappointed. The car was fantastic in the wet, the Firestone tires were fantastic. The work we did at Firebird (Raceway testing rain tires) paid off today. Not just for us, but for all the other Firestone drivers. I had a puncture at the end and the team put on dry tires for the last lap. The result we had today did not show what we were capable of doing. "

1998 - Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline Portland International Raceway - Portland, Oregon - June 19-21, 1998
1998 - Start 5 - got his 2nd win in Portland - and his 2nd Title FedEx Championship Series

Friday Quotes from Portland: ALEX ZANARDI: "We have some problems with the car, it isn't handling very well yet. But it was a different problem that ended our session. I arrived at the corner and the brake pedal went down a bit further than it did before. I went in too fast and just missed the corner, sliding off the track on the outside. We have a lot of work to do for tomorrow."

Saturday Quotes from Portland: ALEX ZANARDI: " Fortunately, I crashed my backup car this morning (in a minor incident with Christian Fittipaldi) and had to go to my backup car. In just a few laps it was apparent that there must be something wrong with the primary car, because the backup was so much better just off the trailer. We are very happy after the way things turned around today. The basic balance of the car is ok, we just need to fine tune a few things."

Raceday Quotes from Portland: ALEX ZANARDI: " Obviously, it was a fantastic day for me. I'm obviously very happy with the way the day turned out. The championship has started very well, and I'm certainly very happy that I've been able to take advantage of other people's misadventures. There is still plenty of time for me to go home with a grumpy face. Things can't always go this well all the time. We were obviously concerned [about pit strategy] before the race. I told the team, "We have to play the odds," and the odds are usually to follow the leader, but I think we were surprised a little bit when Bryan [Herta] came into the pits. At that point, I decided that wasn't the way to go and I'm pleased that our way turned out to be the right way. It was surprising to me to see Bryan, who had the best car and was leading, take the chance. Normally, that's a chance you take when you're running 14th. I'm absolutely not the best driver in the world. But I have to believe deep inside that I'm not worse than anybody, either. Otherwise, I'd better pick another job. But I still have much more to learn. Conditions were tough, there wasn't a lot of chance and opportunity to take a rest."

2001  Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco

2001 - Out of the race - on contact - 1st lap.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1: p.m. to start the 98-lap Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco! Polesitter #7 PAPIS leads as the crowded frontstretch pours into Turn 1. Most of the frontrunners get through Turn 1 before #8 BRACK spins around in the middle of the track. The backmarkers dodge BRACK as he pulls through the shortcut and resume the race. As the field moves into Turn 7, both #5 TAKAGI and #3 CASTRONEVES slide off course at Turn 7 and makes light contact with the wall. TAKAGI continues while CASTRONEVES stalls and loses a lap to the leaders. YELLOW FLAG waves as the field reaches the backstretch. #55 KANAAN runs off-course and as he pulls back on, the driver squeezes #12 GIDLEY to the inside and makes contact. GIDLEY shoots across the track to the outside making hard contact with #66 ZANARDI. Both cars ricochet off the outside wall and slide to a stop. KANAAN continues to his pit with a broken left front wheel. All three cars are retired from the race due to contact.


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Christian Fittipaldi , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi