Adrian Fernandez worked his way through the field from his 17th starting position to claim his second victory of the season in Surfer's Paradise. Fernandez (148 points), who became the 10th different winner in the 10 years of the event, has now...
Adrian Fernandez worked his way through the field from his 17th starting position to claim his second victory of the season in Surfer's Paradise. Fernandez (148 points), who became the 10th different winner in the 10 years of the event, has now scored championship points in the last 12 races and enters the season finale in Fontana just five points behind Gil de Ferran (153 points), who finished 23rd. Kenny Brack, who's second-place finish equaled his season- and career-best CART result established in Cleveland, heads to the California Speedway tied for third in the championship (Paul Tracy) with 134 points. Jimmy Vasser finished third and Cristiano da Matta finished fourth, while Patrick Carpentier's fifth-place result was his fourth top-seven finish in the six events he's run on temporary street circuits this season.
By virtue of their one-two finish in Australia, Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack sit second and tied for third, respectively, heading into the final race of the season in Fontana. Gil de Ferran (153 points), who crashed in the first turn of Sunday's race, leads Fernandez (148 points) by five points and Brack (134 points) and Paul Tracy (134 points) by 19 points going into the second and final 500-mile race of the season. Roberto Moreno (131 points) and Jimmy Vasser (131 points) are also mathematically still in contention for the driver's championship, both trailing de Ferran by 22 points.
Ford-Cosworth received a huge boost in its effort to capture its first manufacturer's championship since 1995 with a one-two finish by Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack in Australia. Ford-Cosworth (314 points), which is based in Torrance, CA, increased it's lead to 16 points over Honda (298 points) and 42 points over Toyota (42 points) with one race remaining in the 2000 season. Ford-Cosworth has not won the CART Manufacturer's Championship since 1995 when Jacques Villeneuve won four races and became the second-youngest champion in CART history at age 24.
Adrian Fernandez's victory was the sixth win of the season for Ford-Cosworth and the new XF engine, surpassing last season's total of five victories ... the six victories for Ford-Cosworth mark the third time since 1992 that the manufacturer has won six or more races in a season (six in '93; 10 in '95) ... Ford-Cosworth has now won five of the 10 races held in Australia - the most of any manufacturer (Honda - 3; Chevrolet - 2) ... at least one driver powered by Ford-Cosworth has stood on the podium in five of the seven races held on temporary street tracks this season.
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 1st
KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 2nd
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 5th
TARSO MARQUES (#34 Panasonic/Swift Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 13th
ALEX BARRON (#19 SPORTS TODAY Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 14th
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 15th - "Vasser hit me and punctured my rear tire and that was it for us. What a shame because we would have been on the podium. The car was good all day since the morning warm-up. Stuff was flying everywhere from the crash at the start but luckily we got through without running over debris. This race is always a wild one but it was even wilder this year. The guys did some good pit stops also. It was awesome when I got out of the pits in front of Vasser (who was previously the race leader). I thought, "Now I have it." Unfortunately all of the yellow laps played into the hands of the guys who were not on the same pit strategy as the previous front runners. That enabled them to stay up front and not pit. Despite that, we could have finished in the top three if we weren't hit which would have been great for the team."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 16th
ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 19th
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco-Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 20th - "I could feel the engine going. It is such a shame because the race was going our way. The start was so beautiful for us and we were in second place after all of the accidents. I felt helpless when the radio went before the race even started. It's definitely not a good way to start a race. I didn't hear them call me to pit after Tracy went off but luckily I was the leader and most of the drivers follow the leader in that situation. Everything was looking so good for the Championship because of all of the contenders that went out of the race. They were all having the bad luck that we have had in the past six or seven races. Then it happened to us also. Now we just change the focus to ending the season strong and having me get the Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford into Winner's Circle for the last time with this team. We have always run strong there and there is nothing I would like better to have my last race with this team be one that we all celebrate in Winner's Circle together."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 22nd