Monterrey, N.L., MEXICO, January 17th, 2002 - As the deadline draws near for the start of the 2002 season, in Monterrey, at the Fundidora Park circuit, signs of the race are starting to become visible everywhere, even to the casual onlooker. If...
Monterrey, N.L., MEXICO, January 17th, 2002 - As the deadline draws near for the start of the 2002 season, in Monterrey, at the Fundidora Park circuit, signs of the race are starting to become visible everywhere, even to the casual onlooker. If you look closely, you'll find that 97% of the more than 24,000 tyres which will be used to serve as first impact protection for the drivers, are already armed and ready to be put in place. Also in place since a few days ago, are the walls and fencing forming the perimeter of the circuit, in several areas such as turn 2, the first chicane, the sweeper and the pit straight. About 94 pieces of the wall are installed daily, and as of today Thursday, a bit over 625 are firm in the place where they will stand for the duration of the race, 40% of the totals number, which means work in this area should finish by early February.
Among visitors to the track, yesterday we found former F1 canadian driver, Allen Berg. Allen, who had big battles in the British F3 a couple of decades ago against Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle -even beating them in several opportunities- ran with Scuadra Osella F1 and later went to Le Mans and the DTM, and has been a constant in the Mexican series in the last few years. He was the Panamerican Indy Lights 2001 champion in Mexico and after getting the title, he decided to retire and he went on to found his own team for the Toyota Atlantic series, Scuadra Fortia. Since the 2002 championship starts at the Tecate-Telmex Grand Prix in the Monterrey track, Allen was keen about touring the track to get ideas about gearing and set-up, information he could pass on to the team's engineer. He went around several times, making notes in the track maps and offering comments about the circuit. He liked the design, and feels the new Swift 014.a will be used to its fullest by the two Fortia drivers, Mexican Eduardo Figueroa and Argentinian Waldemar Coronas. Allen promised to return next week with both drivers to start preparing them mentally for the task of mastering Fundidora.
Race officials announced there will be 9 Jumbotron sets placed in different places of Fundidora Park so that fans in the stands can watch the race live and in direct coverage through the feed of Mexico's TV Azteca. Seven of the nine screens will be placed facing the stands in the pit straight, turn 2, the first chicane, the sweeper, the esses, and the double chicane, while two of them will be in truck platforms. The stands themselves are about 70% completed and it seems they will be in place a week before the self-imposed deadline of February 20th. The engineers from the State University of Nuevo León have tested every finished stand (strength and resistance) and approved them. Also, an ambitious plan of external and events, both inside the Park and in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, is being devised in order to show a mexican fiesta to the world in the days before and after the race.