CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston Andre Ribeiro Preview

ANDRE RIBEIRO MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE ...

ANDRE RIBEIRO MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE #3 98 MARLBORO PENSKE MERCEDES TEXACO GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON HOUSTON, TEXAS October 2-4, 1998

1998 marks Ribeiro's first season with Marlboro Team Penske. He joins veteran Al Unser Jr. in piloting identical red and white 98 Marlboro Penske Mercedes'. Ribeiro will drive the #3 car and Unser the #2.

Ribeiro has qualified in the top-ten in each of his three starts at Laguna Seca.

In last week's race in Vancouver, Ribeiro placed seventh after starting 19th. This marked his third top-ten finish of the year and his best finish of the season.

Ribeiro suffered a fractured left fibula as a result of a qualifying accident at Road America in Elkhart Lake. He was able to compete in the race with the assistance of a special shin guard designed by his Marlboro Team Penske crew as well as a foot rest on the clutch and extra padding in the cockpit. He will use a modified version of this equipment at this weekend's Honda Grand Prix of Monterey.

Ribeiro has three career wins including the 1996 Marlboro 500 (his other wins were New Hampshire - 95; and Rio - 96) and two pole positions (New Hampshire - 95 and Toronto -96). His first win came in 1995 (his first season in CART racing) at the New England 200 in Loudon, New Hampshire where he scored the inaugural Indy car victory for Honda engines.

Each of Ribeiro's three wins have come on oval tracks. Of the 25 oval races he has competed in, he has led seven of them (28%).

Ribeiro has scored points in 36% of the races he competed in (23).

Ribeiro is one of only four active drivers on the FedEx Championship Series to win a race in their rookie season, scoring his first victory in just 15 starts. He is one of only two active drivers who have won from the pole in their rookie season. Ribeiro is one of only nine drivers on the CART circuit to have scored a win from the pole.

In his first race with Marlboro Team Penske, the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami, Ribeiro qualified on the front row starting in the second position. His second best qualifying position was third in Milwaukee.

In 1997, Ribeiro struggled with a Lola chassis early in the season before switching to a Reynard at Cleveland. He scored his first 1997 podium finish the following weekend in Toronto.

In 1996, Ribeiro scored two race victories -- the inaugural Rio 400 in his native country of Brazil and the Marlboro 500 at Michigan Speedway -- making him one of only four multiple race winners that season. He also scored his first road course pole in Toronto. He finished 11th in the point standings, marking his best overall finish to date.

Ribeiro made his rookie debut in 1995. That year he won from the pole in New Hampshire and was named to Autosport's annual list of Top Ten Drivers.

STREET COURSE RACE HISTORY

Number of Starts: 3 Laps Completed: 222 / 250 (88%) Front Row Starts: 0 Podium Finishes: 0 1997 S/F: 10/4 Average Starting Position: 8.6 Best Start: 7 (1996) Average Finishing Position: 16.3 Best Finish: 4 (1997)

CAREER STATISTICS

CART Season: 4 Wins from Pole: 1 Career Starts: 64 Podium Finishes: 4 Consecutive Starts: 11 Top Ten Finishes: 18 (28%) Race Wins: 3 Races Led: 8 (12.5%) Poles: 2 Laps Led: 466

PENSKE RACING RECORDS

National Championships: 9 Indy Car Victories: 99 Consecutive Championships: 3 Pole Positions: 119 Wins in a Season: 12 Indianapolis 500 Victories: 10 500-Mile Race Wins: 21 Indianapolis 500 Poles: 11

Source: MRN

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Andre Ribeiro
Teams Team Penske