CHAMPCAR/CART: Lausitz: Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing race report

Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing wraps their European trip Lausitz, Germany (Saturday, May 10, 2003) - An emotional day at EuroSpeedway sees the Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing wrap up the final leg of their 2 race European trip with a 13th place finish at...

Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing wraps their European trip

Lausitz, Germany (Saturday, May 10, 2003) - An emotional day at EuroSpeedway sees the Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing wrap up the final leg of their 2 race European trip with a 13th place finish at the EuroSpeedway in Lausitz Germany. The day started off with an inspirational 13 laps around the circuit by Alex Zanardi who took the checkered flag from friend Jimmy Vasser to finish his 2001 race.

The team struggled with a lack of speed all weekend, but came within one spot of the points in Sunday's event. This was the first oval race for Rookie driver Tiago Monteiro who definitely enjoyed the experience if not the final result.

"I had a lot of fun," he said after the race. "This was my first experience on an oval and I really enjoyed myself. I wanted to finish, and we finished. 13th is the worst position as it's just out of the points. I had a big fight with Tracy, which made things interesting. The team was great in the pits.

"After I pushed so hard, I even touched the wall at one point so I was very lucky there, I was hoping for a better finish, maybe 9th or 10th. We were there a couple of times and were counting on another yellow or two that we didn't get when we needed it. I think it was a good strategy that could have worked.

"As a rookie, I'm very happy to have finished the race safely. Now I've got my first oval under my belt and learned a lot about what I want in my set up so I should do much better in Milwaukee."

"Tiago did a good job today," praised team owner Emerson Fittipaldi. "We need to get the car to go faster for him. The team had quick pit stops. We took a risk with the extra stop thinking we could recover the lap we had lost, but in the end it didn't work out the way we had hoped. We really just need to get faster and hope the Reynards will go faster."

With their drivers first oval race behind them, the team heads home to Indianapolis tomorrow to start preparations for the first night race in CART history at the Milwaukee Mile.

-fdr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Zanardi , Tiago Monteiro , Emerson Fittipaldi