CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Laguna Seca race notes

PAPIS WINS HIS SECOND RACE OF 2001 - Team Rahal driver Max Papis pitted five times early in Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey, but he stayed on the track when it mattered to capture his second road course win of the season. Papis inherited the lead...

PAPIS WINS HIS SECOND RACE OF 2001 - Team Rahal driver Max Papis pitted five times early in Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey, but he stayed on the track when it mattered to capture his second road course win of the season. Papis inherited the lead from Adrian Fernandez on lap 61 and went on the win the two-hour timed race. Papis, who started from the 24th position on the grid, became the first driver outside of the top six to capture the race at Laguna Seca, a race that went 76 of the scheduled 83 laps.

NOTEWORTHY - Oriol Servia's car flipped end-over-end twice on lap 66 after he ran over the right rear of the No. 17 car driven by Mauricio Gugelmin as the two entered Turn 2. The nose of Servia's car, subsequently, dug into the sand and resulted in a double flip before it landed on it wheels backwards in the sand pit beyond the turn. According to Dr. Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, Servia was awake and alert at the scene of the accident, where a preliminary evaluation revealed no injuries. Servia reported some soreness in his neck and was transported by ground to Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula for precautionary x-rays and further evaluation.

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Started 24th/Finished 1st - "I'm proud of my guys. We did a beautiful job. I believed in them the whole way. It was a big fight, but I'm very proud of it."

YOU PITTED MULTIPLE TIMES EARLY IN THE RACE. "I'll tell you it's as much my win as Mark Johnson's and all the guys out there. They did a beautiful job and I'm pretty proud of that. And, the Italians that are out here in Laguna there is something special about this track." HOW CERTAIN WERE YOU THAT YOU COULD GO THE WHOLE WAY ON FUEL? "I was not sure, but we made it."

BOBBY RAHAL, Owner (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth)
YOU USED STRATEGY TO WIN THIS RACE TODAY. "Max did a super job. The yellows early on helped us, but then he got fantastic fuel mileage. The guy, when he had to go fast, he went for it and did a beautiful job."

"This racing is so unpredictable. We didn't have a very good qualifying session. We had an engine problem and he kept it together. There we were at the end of the grid and you can be pretty aggressive with strategy back there. He got the mileage that we needed and then when we had to go fast, he could go fast. The team did a fantastic job, and in the end, Max is the one who brought it home for us."

WITH ALL THE YELLOWS, HOW MUCH WORK WAS DONE IN THE PITS? "There was a lot of conversation, I can tell you. Mark Johnson and everybody on the team did great. We gambled a little bit and it worked out. Sometimes you have to be very, very aggressive on strategy, and in the end, you had to go fast at the end and Max ran his best laps the last three to four laps."

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Forsythe Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Started 26th/Finished 12th
YOU HAD YOUR PROBLEMS THIS WEEKEND, BUT MANAGED TO FINISH 12TH. WHAT DO YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THIS WEEKEND? "I guess one point because we finished 12th. It was a long day. We had the accident there early on and had to come into the pits a couple of time to fix the car and we got back out there again. But, we needed the race to go the whole distance for our strategy to play out there at the end."

AFTER YESTERDAY'S HAPPENINGS, DID YOU THINK YOU COULD FINISH AS HIGH AS 12TH? "I was hoping to do more than that. Max started one spot ahead of me and he needed up winning the race. In today's race, anything was possible."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Started 8th/Finished 15th - "The car was great, but it's just too bad for the Player's team because Pat and myself had the cars to fight and finish up front today. Definitely, our car was very quick. I passed Michael on his way into the pit. He had a broken nose and I went outside in Turn 9. Then right after the bridge, I just had a little bit of a speed loss because my tires were full of marbles. There was not enough for Pat to pass and I think we had a front to rear contact. I don't know what part of his car touched my rear, but I just felt a big bump and went sideways. It's racing. Pat's just another driver out there, like everybody else, and he's trying to be hard."

YOU HAD A LITTLE FUN PASSING DARIO. "Once, I was on the yellow flag, and I said to the team, 'I passed those guys twice already and they're still in front of me.' We passed a lot of cars. Our car was really fast in Turn 6 going up the hill and that's why in the corkscrew that I went inside many cars. We did a lot of passing and I had fun of the track. We definitely had a car for a top five today."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) - Started 15th/Finished 23rd
MORENO KICKED UP A LOT OF SAND. DID THAT IMPAIR YOUR VISION? "I couldn't see anything and I just went behind Bruno. I thought I saw him turn to the left and I tried to go with him. I went to the left and the next thing I know, I was in the dirt. It's a shame because we were running good and saving fuel for the end."

YOU HAVE AN ICE PACK ON YOUR RIGHT WRIST. ARE YOU OK? "It's OK. I'm in a little bit of pain but it's OK."

MAX WILSON (#25 Driving 101 Ford-Cosworth) - Started 25th/Finished 24th
WHAT HAPPENED? "Bryan Herta, three laps before he crashed me, he touched me in the last turn and was right behind me and everybody was checked up and he tried to overtake me and he pushed me off. And then two laps later, he went straight on my car and broke my front suspension. It's the beginning of the race and that was stupid."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Started 14th/Finished 25th
WHAT HAPPENED? "I got together with Gugelmin and bent the front suspension and that was it."

YOUR CREW TRIED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. "When something like that happens you're done basically because you lose too many laps. And then the alignment and everything goes out and it's very hard to drive the car after that. Our Shell team tried to fix the wishbone on the left front and a bunch of other things including the rear wing. It's very hard on the Shell team today. They worked hard to get car better after a tough qualifying day yesterday. This is very sad, but it doesn't change the next two races for us."

DO YOU FEEL YOU STILL HAVE A SHOT AT THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "The championship is not done until the last race is over. If it was then we wouldn't compete, but we still have two races left. We have to come back strong at Australia and California."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Started 9th/Finished 26th
UNFORTUNATELY, AN EARLY END TO YOUR DAY. "Yeah, it's very early. I was following Alex there and was already saving a lot of fuel. Michael came around the corner and went into the middle there and Alex got caught on the outside and got in the dirt a little bit. I thought I had an opening, so I went in the inside and he had good acceleration so I couldn't make it that far ahead. He cut through to go back in the middle of the corner and I took him out. That's too bad."

DID YOU MAKE CONTACT WITH ANYBODY ELSE?  "No, no that I know of.  I think
Kenny was further back quite a bit.  I think it was only Alex."

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Oriol Servia , Bryan Herta