CHAMPCAR/CART: Helio Castroneves on Rockingham

Helio Castroneves Marlboro Team Penske ...

Helio Castroneves Marlboro Team Penske #3 2001 Marlboro Honda Reynard

" I want to congratulate Gil (de Ferran) on a great win today. It was a quick and busy day for everyone, not just for the drivers, but for the whole Team. Fortunately the weather held, and I'm really glad we got the race in for the fans. The track layout is great and very fast.

"I wanted to make sure that we had a good, clean start and made it through the first lap. I was able to stay with the leaders and conserve fuel.

"Unfortunately, we had a slow first pit stop (lap 53) and dropped from fifth to ninth. On my second stop (lap 100), the Team made a great recovery and I was able to go from eighth to third. We needed to finish in the points which we did but there are still four races to go. Unfortunately after the race, CART penalized me one finishing position (Castroneves dropped from third to fourth) for a moving violation (passing the #6 car of Cristiano da Matta under a full course yellow).

"I'm very disappointed as I had a car that was much faster than Cristiano's and I'm confident that I would have been able to pass him in the last 36 laps had CART approached this situation in the same way they did with other competitors during the race. I don't understand why they waited until after the race to make this decision. It seems very unfair but it's out of my hands. The Team filed a protest but was told it's a non-protestable violation.

"We're going to a street circuit (Houston) next, and we've achieved good results on those circuits this year so hopefully the dice will roll our way."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske