CHAMPCAR/CART: Herdez Bettenhause Road America race report

Race Report Motorola 220 - Round 14 of the CART FedEx Championship Series Sunday, August 19, 2001 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (4.048-mile permanent road course) Start: 20th Finish: 17th Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain Jr.

Race Report
Motorola 220 - Round 14 of the CART FedEx Championship Series
Sunday, August 19, 2001
Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (4.048-mile permanent road course)
Start: 20th Finish: 17th

Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain Jr. survived a wild race through both wet and dry conditions, five caution periods, and a 47-minute race stoppage before bringing the #16 Ford-Cosworth powered Lola home in 17th position. Savvy pit-stop strategy helped Jourdain fight his way from 20th to 3rd in the first 12 laps before CART officials red-flagged the race so that the Safety Team could build a temporary shunt to stop water from sheeting across the track at turn 11. The fuel battle continued during the second portion of the race before the team was forced to bring Jourdain in on lap 43 for a splash of fuel. The race was shortened from the 55-lap scheduled distance to 45 laps as the two hour time limit had elapsed.

Quotes

Michel Jourdain, Jr.
"We had a pretty good car today I think in both the rain and the dry. At the beginning of the race, I was able to pass some drivers and gain some spots from others' mistakes. And coming in early (on lap four) for our first pitstop helped a lot.

"It was a shame that we weren't able to qualify in dry conditions yesterday because I think the changes we made in the morning would have made the car very competitive on a dry track.

"The red flag on lap 14 actually helped us quite a lot. We were having trouble with our radios because of the rain and when the race was stopped we were able to get the radios back, change to slick tires and get a fuel tank of fuel without losing any time. I think CART did the right thing by stopping the race because the conditions out there were really dangerous with the water running across the track. When we drove through there under yellow the car pretty much floated through - there was no traction at all! The rest of the track was drying out pretty quickly but there was just no way to continue the race safely.

"The way things were going, the fuel strategy we chose looked good. We were sure there would be another yellow but it just didn't happen so we had to take on a splash of fuel which dropped us back."

What's on tap
The CART FedEx Championship Series takes a one-week hiatus before venturing to the Pacific Northwest for the Molson Indy Vancouver, August 31 to September 2.

-HB-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michel Jourdain