(Cleveland, Oh) â€“ PacWest Racingâ€™s Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell both scored FedEx Championship Series points when they finished 10th and 12th respectively in the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland in Ohio today. Gugelmin, who started ...
(Cleveland, Oh) – PacWest Racing’s Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell both scored FedEx Championship Series points when they finished 10th and 12th respectively in the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland in Ohio today.
Gugelmin, who started third in his #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, battled straight-line speed and braking problems and unfortunately was not able to make use of his best qualifying performance in more than a year (3rd).
Blundell was battling for position on lap 12 when he locked the wheels on his #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz and skidded nose-first into a tire barrier. He was able to get the car started with the help of CART officials, but by the time he made it back to the pits and replaced the front wing he was two laps down on the rest of the field and as low as 20th position.
It was an unfortunate incident for Blundell who had gone from 16th to 10th on the first lap, but to his credit, the Englishman battled on for the remainder of the race and salvaged a championship point.
The race was won by Brazilian Roberto Moreno from Kenny Brack and Cristiano da Matta. Moreno, who collected his first CART winner’s trophy, has many friends at PacWest after subbing for eight races for an injured Blundell last season. The FedEx Championship Series will continue with the Molson Indy in Toronto on July 16. MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 10th
“We battled for most of the race, especially with straight-line speed,” said Gugelmin. “Towards the end of the race we also struggled with our brakes. I think (Gil) de Ferran was having a similar problem when he hit me from behind in turn two towards the end of the race. I was basically out of contention after the first stop, which was disappointing considering we started on the second row, but at least we scored some points for the Nextel car.
MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 12th
“We have been battling a ride problem for some time and it caught me out again today and I made an error and slid into a tire barrier,” said Blundell. “It was very disappointing because we had a very good car today and the guys produced some good quick stops despite the fact we were technically out of the race so early. “I just had to battle on and try and salvage some points. I think the combination we had this weekend was not that far away and I am looking forward to the approaching races.”
TOP 12: 1: Roberto Moreno; 2: Kenny Brack; 3: Cristiano da Matta; 4: Michael Andretti; 5: Patrick Carpentier; 6: Juan Montoya; 7: Adrian Fernandez; 8: Jimmy Vasser; 9: Bryan Herta; 10: Mauricio Gugelmin; 11: Roberto Fontana; 12: Mark Blundell.