Shigeaki Hattori - ...
Shigeaki Hattori - #16 Mercedes-Benz/Reynard/Goodyear Target Grand Prix, Chicago Motor Speedway, 1.029 mile oval
Qualifying Position: 25th Finishing Position: 17th
(Sunday, August 22, 1999 - Cicero, Illinois) -- Rookie Champ Car driver Shigeaki Hattori finished 17th today, gaining eight positions during the 225-lap Target Grand Prix at the new Chicago Motor Speedway.
The EPSON Bettenhausen Motorsports pilot battled all day and was happy to complete the event. "This was the first time I've ever driven a car that was so loose," Shigeaki remarked afterward. "The car was very good for the first 15-20 laps but then the handling began to go away. We made a big wing change in the first pit stop but that left me with a big push in traffic. On the next stop, we went back part way on the wing change and that helped a lot."
The team's two-way radio contact with Shigeaki was interrupted for a period during the race when a connector to his helmet worked loose. The problem was not detected until after the first pit stop but was corrected during the second. Shigeaki explained, "It was a very hard race; there is so much traffic and activity that you have to concentrate very hard. I didn't realize at first why no one in the pit was answering me!"
Tom Brown, Chief Engineer, focused on the gains made during the weekend. " It was a good solid weekend. Shigeaki made a lot of progress. He's now getting to the point where he can mix it up with some of these guys which is great."
The team will take a break before returning to the CART FedEx Championship at the Laguna Seca round in Monterey, California on September 12th.