CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Gold Coast race notes

Alex Tagliani Finishes Third In Australia; Kenny Brack Is Fifth As Gil De Ferran Clinches Drivers' Championship TAGLIANI SCORES HIS SEVENTH TOP-10 FINISH OF THE SEASON - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani drove from his...

Alex Tagliani Finishes Third In Australia; Kenny Brack Is Fifth As Gil De Ferran Clinches Drivers' Championship

TAGLIANI SCORES HIS SEVENTH TOP-10 FINISH OF THE SEASON -
Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani drove from his seventh-place starting position to a third-place finish in the Honda Indy 300, scoring his seventh top-10 result of the season. Cristiano da Matta claimed his second victory of the season, while Michael Andretti finished second. Gil de Ferran finished fourth and clinched the 2001 CART championship for the second consecutive season, while Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack's championship hopes ended with his fifth place result. Brack, who trailed de Ferran by 26 points heading into today's race, needed to finish ahead of de Ferran to have any chance of winning the championship in next weekend's season finale at the California Speedway. Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., turned in a strong performance with a seventh-place result, while Max Papis (9th) and Patrick Carpentier (11th) also scored championship points. Alex Barron, making his first appearance of the season in Arciero-Blair Racing's No. 25 Driving 101 Ford-Cosworth, drove from last place on the starting grid to a 13th-place finish, Bryan Herta came home 18th after qualifying 22nd, and Oriol Servia finished 25th after suffering mechanical problems early in the race.

CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT COMES TO AN END - Team Rahal and driver Kenny Brack's battle for the CART FedEx Series championship officially came to an end today when Gil de Ferran finished fourth, one position ahead of Brack who finished fifth. Despite scoring series-high six victories and four pole positions, de Ferran's victories in England and at Houston helped propel him past Brack in the points and to his second title in as many seasons.

FORD-COSWORTH CHASING TOYOTA FOR SECOND IN MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP - With Honda already having clinched the 2001 Manufacturers' Championship, Ford-Cosworth fell to third in the manufacturer standings behind Toyota as a result of Cristiano da Matta's victory in Surfer's Paradise. Toyota (287) leads Ford-Cosworth (280) by seven points heading into next weekend's season finale at the California Speedway.

JOURDAIN AND BARRON WITH STRONG DRIVES 'DOWN UNDER' - Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., made sure his 100th career Champ Car start was a memorable one by scoring a seventh-place finish in Australia. With this weekend's performance, Jourdain has scored three top-10 results this season, including his first CART podium at Michigan (third) and a sixth-place finish at Vancouver. Barron, who replaced Max Wilson in Arciero-Blair's No. 25 Driving 101 Ford-Cosworth for the final two races of the season, also turned in a fine performance in his first Champ Car action of the season. After qualifying dead last on the starting grid, Barron took advantage of his fuel strategy and worked his way through the field to finish 13th.

-Ford Racing-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Max Wilson , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain