Michel Jourdain, Jr. today scored his first two championship points of the season with a fighting eleventh-place finish. The challenges of the day started on the grid when the ...
Michel Jourdain, Jr. today scored his first two championship points of the season with a fighting eleventh-place finish. The challenges of the day started on the grid when the #16 car was first fired up but the electronic telemetry system and dashboard did not spring to life. The crew scrambled in the final seconds before the car rolled away to correct the problem but was unsuccessful. Then, on the first green lap of the race, Bruno Junqueira and Cristiano da Matta tangled directly in front of Jourdain, forcing him to take evasive action and costing him two positions before the first lap was completed. The race ran green from lap eight to lap 191 forcing the Herdez Bettenhausen team to be conservative on their pit stop strategy and bring Jourdain in for the first time on lap 46. As the race progressed, the team's calculations became more accurate and they were able to stretch the pit windows slightly, pitting again on lap 91 and 140. The team had to make a "splash and go" stop for just a few gallons of fuel on lap 187.
Michel Jourdain, Jr.
"I'm a little disappointed because the car was really, really good today and I know I could have done better. But we had some problems that cost us during the race and we have to be satisfied with getting some points out of it.
The first incident in the race happened right in front of me and it was a miracle that I missed it myself. I stayed in the middle of the track thinking that the cars would move either up toward the wall or down but that didn't happen and it cost me."
Tom Brown - Chief Engineer
"Starting with no dash or telemetry is a bit of a challenge. But it's amazing what a couple of old guys and a calculator can do when forced! But seriously, Michel did a hell of a job today with no information. If we had telemetry we would have known the fuel mileage and could possibly have been able to go without the last splash of fuel. But overall, a pretty good effort."