SAN FRANCISCO, CA - - February 14, 2001 - - Mario Dominguez, Michel Jourdain Jr., and Jimmy Vasser yesterday became the first Champ Car competitors to drive the new Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix circuit in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, ...
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - - February 14, 2001 - - Mario Dominguez, Michel Jourdain Jr., and Jimmy Vasser yesterday became the first Champ Car competitors to drive the new Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix circuit in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Monterrey Mayor Felipe de Jesus Cantu, race owner U. E. "Pat" Patrick, General Director Hector Emilio Ayala, Dayton Indy Lights driver Rudy Junco and Copa McCormick Campeonato Mustang Series drivers Ruben Garcia Novoa and Rafael Martinez, joined the trio who took the media, sponsors and VIP's on pace laps around the 2.1-mile, 12-turn track and then participated in a media conference.
Dominguez, who graduated from the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series and will be making his Champ Car debut this season with Forsythe Racing said, "I am impressed with the work that has been done on the circuit. It is a very technical and fast track with good overtaking areas."
Jourdain Jr., who is entering his sixth CART season and second with the Herdez Bettenhausen team, commented that, "The circuit is sensational. It is a very technical track. There are a lot of direction changes with both fast corners and slow corners. This will be a very challenging place for the teams as far as setting up the cars."
Vasser, the 1996 CART champion, who is entering his tenth CART season and first with Patrick Racing, said, "The drivers are going to have a lot of fun here.
The circuit is very interesting in its design and it is going to be very technical and very challenging. It has a lot of non-traditional corners, a wide variety of turns and there are some potentially good passing zones. It is going to be very interesting to see the different lines and styles that the drivers will use to attack this course."
Vasser also noted that, "They have done a fantastic job with the circuit. It is very smooth and very wide. Another thing I like about this circuit is there are great vantage points all around the track for the fans. They won't just see the cars flash by and be gone. The fans will be able to see the cars for a long time as they negotiate a series of corners."
The following is a description of a lap around the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix circuit with Vasser: "Coming down the front straight past the pits and going into Turn #1, it seems to me that the first corner, a right-hand corner, is going to be fairly quick, but not a good passing zone. The overall circuit is sweeping, very wide and flat and that is the case in Turn #1. You have to be careful not to carry to much speed through Turn #1 because you have to be properly set-up for Turn #2, which is a left-hander, a bit of a hairpin and very slow. Coming off of Turn #2 you go on to what would be a long straight, but it is broken up with a chicane in the middle. The chicane appears to be very quick and it's going to be important to get through the right/left first chicane (Turns #3 and #4) in good shape because it leads into probably the best passing zone on the circuit, which is the hairpin (Turn #5). The hairpin reminds me of the hairpin at the Montreal Grand Prix circuit only flipped flopped. Here it is a left-hander and at Montreal it is a right-hander, but they are very similar. The next corner (Turn #6) is a decreasing radius right-handed sweeper into a tight left/right chicane (Turn #7 and #8). It is going to be very technical through this area. Where you place your car is going to be very important. Leaving the chicane you come down into another area that, if you get a good exit out of the chicane, is going to be a good passing area. It is a 90-degree left-hander (Turn #9) that leads into a banked left-hand sweeper (Turn #10). Turn #10 is going to be one where the speed is increasing all the way through. It leads on to what is going to be the fastest point of the track, a long straightaway where speeds will probably reach 185-190 mph. Then you head into a pretty heavy braking zone, which is possibly going to be one of the better places to pass (Turn #11). This leads into the S-curve (Turn #12), which is going to be very interesting and fun for the drivers. It is also going to be very fast. Then it is back onto the long front straight."
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., city and state officials from Monterrey and Nuevo Leon, as well as event promoter Pat Patrick, partner Gerald Forsythe and Tecate announced the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix in April of 2000.
The track is located in northern Mexico at Fundidora Park in the middle of Monterrey. Just two-and-a-half hours by car from Laredo, Texas and less than an hour by plane from Houston, Texas the 1.8-mile Fundidora Park course will feature 12 turns and three chicanes. Fundidora Park covers roughly 172 acres and is just four minutes from downtown Monterrey. Surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountains there are many routes into and out of the city including excellent highways and Monterrey's international airport, which offers daily flights to and from many cities in Mexico and the United States. CART last raced in Mexico in 1981, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriques located in Mexico City.
General admission seats for the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix presented by Herdez, March 9-11, are priced at: Three-day - $55, Friday only - $15, Saturday only - $20, Sunday only - $30. Additionally, Indy Car Travel, the United States outlet for tickets has purchased a block of reserved seats and general admission tickets for resale. For information call Indy Car Travel at 800-274-2278 or 480-718-1174 (www.indycartravel.com) and ask for Nance Wickins.