CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Castro-Neves Preview

Castro-Neves On The Move To Monterey Laguna Seca (September 11, 1998) - It's stop No. 16 for car No. 16 and driver Helio Castro-Neves as the CART FedEx Championship Series races at the picturesque Laguna Seca...

Castro-Neves On The Move To Monterey

Laguna Seca (September 11, 1998) - It's stop No. 16 for car No. 16 and driver Helio Castro-Neves as the CART FedEx Championship Series races at the picturesque Laguna Seca Raceway in Sunday's Texaco/Havoline 300 (ESPN, 3 p.m. ET).

In some respects, the 1998 rookie season for the driver of the Team Alumax Reynard/Mercedes-Benz of Bettenhausen Motorsports has been a reflection of the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit. Like Laguna Seca, 1998 has been up and down for Castro-Neves, who has come close to winning twice, but has also struggled on occasion. With three races remaining after Sunday's event, Castro-Neves would like to have the kind of performance he had at Long Beach--where he led twice--and the kind of finish he had at Milwaukee, where he wound up on the podium as runner-up to race winner Jimmy Vasser.

"I like this track very much," said Castro-Neves. "It is the kind of track that challenges you a lot with high-speed corners and low-speed corners. It's up and down and, of course, you have the most famous turn on the circuit with the corkscrew. Its the kind of place you never forget."

Castro-Neves has had good results in two previous Indy Lights races there, reaching the podium each time. He was second in 1996 and third last year. Earlier this summer, Castro-Neves got his first look at the track from the cockpit of his current ride, a CART FedEx champ car.

"We had as good test here," Castro-Neves continued. "I felt very comfortable driving a champ car there. We had a good setup for the test so that should help us for the race."

Sunday's race at Vancouver wasn't a total loss for Castro-Neves. On Lap 30, he set the fastest lap of the race, a first for a Bettenhausen Motorsports driver. As a result, he will be awarded an Omega watch prior to the start of the race at Laguna Seca .

Source: CART Online

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser