Vasser's Fifth Place Drive Secures Admirable Eighth in Points; Canadian Contact Hampers Hometown Hero's Hopes in Mexico City MEXICO CITY (November 7, 2004) -- With a fifth place result in this afternoon's Champ Car World Series finale in Mexico...
Vasser's Fifth Place Drive Secures Admirable Eighth in Points; Canadian Contact Hampers Hometown Hero's Hopes in Mexico City
MEXICO CITY (November 7, 2004) -- With a fifth place result in this afternoon's Champ Car World Series finale in Mexico City, PKV Racing's Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) jumped from 10th to eighth in the championship standings, putting the wraps on the 1996 Series Champion's 13th campaign in the series he has turned heads in for so many sensational seasons. Local favorite and teammate Roberto Gonzalez' (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) day was slowed in the early goings when Canada's Paul Tracy made contact from behind and spun the PKV Lola around on just the second of a 63-lap event.
With a crowd of 'gigante' proportions on hand to catch the PKV duo take aim at Champ Car's best on the 2.768-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Vasser finished the squad's second season on a strong note with his fifth top-five drive of the year.
"I think we made a lot of changes over the course of the weekend, but the cars in front of us were the faster cars for a reason," said Vasser. "I got held up a few times in traffic, but I guess everybody's got a story, right? The PKV guys did a great job today, and a fifth place result was a decent way to close out the season in the Gulfstream car. We accomplished what we came here to do this weekend, and that was to preserve our place in the points. We did one better and moved up a few positions, so it turned out to be a decent run."
With family and friends intently watching the rookie's biggest race of the season, the air was taken out of the Nextel Racing balloon all too soon when contact sent Gonzalez spinning out of contention when in 13th position.
"Tracy came up behind me and I gave him plenty of racing room," said Gonzalez. "The next thing I knew I was turned around. I guess it's a miracle because when he hit me from behind, it broke my drive shaft and somehow we were able to continue. I feel bad for my guys and the Mexican fans who gave me so much support all weekend long. It's a shame we couldn't have got a better result today."