CHAMPCAR/CART: Marlboro Team Penske 'Pit Notes' pre-Fontana

Pit Notes October 29, 2001 De Ferran Clinches Second Consecutive Cart Fedex Series Championship With his fourth place finish in yesterday's Honda Indy 300 on the streets of Surfer's Paradise, Australia, Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de ...

Pit Notes
October 29, 2001

De Ferran Clinches Second Consecutive Cart Fedex Series Championship

With his fourth place finish in yesterday's Honda Indy 300 on the streets of Surfer's Paradise, Australia, Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran captured his second consecutive CART FedEx Series Championship and maintained ownership of the coveted Vanderbilt Cup. He joins Rick Mears (1981-82), Bobby Rahal (1986-87) and Alex Zanardi (1997-98) as the only back-to-back Champions in CART history.

In addition, he has given Roger Penske his record-setting 11th National Title and ninth CART Championship. The Team also holds the record for most race wins - 110; most pole positions - 135; most Indianapolis 500 wins - 11; most Indianapolis 500 poles - 11; and most 500-mile race wins - 22.

Since the "Renaissance of Marlboro Team Penske" took place at the start of the 2000 season, when the Team brought on two new drivers - de Ferran and teammate Helio Castroneves and changed engines, tires and chassis, the Team has scored back-to-back CART FedEx Series Championships and finished 1-2 at this year's Indianapolis 500 (Castroneves won). In addition, the "new" Marlboro Team Penske has accomplished the following results in the 39 CART races it has competed in during the 2000 and 2001 seasons:

* Ten race wins (26%)

* 16 pole positions (41%)

* Led 1,386 out of a possible 5,220 laps (27%). Marlboro Team Penske drivers have led a total of 67 times in 24 different races (61%). The Team has led the most laps in 17 races (43%).

* Had 29 front row starts, including front row sweeps in Portland, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca - 2000; and Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca - 2001.

* Made 23 podium appearances including 1-2 finishes at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca - 2000, and Mid-Ohio 2001. In total, the Team had at least one driver on the podium in 19 races (49%).

* De Ferran set the World's Closed Course Speed Record with a qualifying lap of 241.428 mph at the 2000 Marlboro 500 at California Speedway

* De Ferran scored Penske Racing's record-setting 100th win at Nazareth Speedway in 2000.

MARLBORO 500 PRESENTED BY TOYOTA - SEASON FINALE

The 2001 CART FedEx Series will come to a close with this weekend's Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. Last year, Gil de Ferran captured his fifth pole of the season and set the World Closed Course Speed Record en route to his third place finish and first CART FedEx Series Championship. Teammate Helio Castroneves qualified fourth and led 42 laps before contact on lap 226 ended his day and placed him in ninth position. Newman-Haas driver Christian Fittipaldi won the race and recorded his first career 500-mile win. Once again, the winner of this year's race will receive a $1 million bonus.

Immediately following the post-race ceremonies, newly crowned CART Champion Gil de Ferran will be presented with the Vanderbilt Cup and the $1 million prize.

CART LEGENDS AT THE MARLBORO 500 PRESENTED BY TOYOTA

For the second consecutive year, the Legends of CART racing will gather at California Speedway in a tribute to the rich heritage of Champ Car Racing. Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Emerson Fittipaldi, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Unser, Dan Gurney, Bobby Rahal, Parnelli Jones, Tom Sneva, Jim McElreath and Wally Dallenbach will join current CART drivers and past Champions Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and Gil de Ferran for a weekend of media and fan-related activities. The Legends will participate in a press conference on Friday at the track as well as an autograph session on Saturday morning. For further information on the Legends activities, please contact Jordan Miller at (818) 344-6195.

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE TO COMPETE IN CRAFTSMAN PIT CREW CHALLENGE

The pit crews for Gil de Ferran's #1 Marlboro Honda Reynard and Helio Castroneves' #3 Marlboro Honda Reynard have finished first and second respectively in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. They are now guaranteed a position in the Challenge Shoot-Out scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd following qualifying for the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. De Ferran's crew led by crew chief Matt Jonsson scored 151 points while the Rick Rinaman-led crew of Castroneves' car tallied 140 points.

Now in its third season, the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge was instituted in 1999 to recognize the efforts of the mechanics that build, maintain and service the racecars. Champ Car teams competed all year, scoring points according to the same scale used to score the FedEx Championship Series drivers, but based on least time spent in the pits at each CART events. The Marlboro Team Penske pit crews have led the competition since the Nazareth race in May of this year.

Other teams in the competition include the crew of Kenny Brack's #8 car and Oriol Servia's #22 car with 119 and 112 points respectively, and the crew of Mauricio Gugelmin's #17 car who earned the wild car berth for their pit work at the Michigan 500. The shoot-out will consist of two timed pit stops per entrant, with the fastest time claiming the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Trophy and a $50,000 bonus.

FOURTH ANNUAL MARLBORO 500 MEDIA GO-KART CHALLENGE

Members of the media will have an opportunity to match their lap times with current CART drivers Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Kenny Brack, Max Papis and Michel Jourdain Jr. at the 4th Annual Marlboro 500 Media Go-Kart Challenge and Luncheon. The event takes place on Thursday, November 1st at 11:30 am at Universal Studios. For more information, contact Jeremy Riffle at (310) 274-7800. <pre> CART FEDEX SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS

1       Gil de Ferran                   191*
2       Kenny Brack                     163*
3       Helio Castroneves               141
4       Michael Andretti                141
5       Cristiano da Matta              120
6       Dario Franchitti                105
7       Scott Dixon                      98
8       Max Papis                        90
9       Patrick Carpentier               88
10      Tony Kanaan                      83
11      Roberto Moreno                   76
12      Jimmy Vasser                     76

* Clinched their position

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Series IndyCar
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske