Miami, FL (Sunday, September 28, 2003) -- The Grand Prix Americas was supposed to be a great weekend for Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing. With the Champ Cars hitting the hometown streets of owner Emerson Fittipaldi and driver Tiago Monteiro,...
Miami, FL (Sunday, September 28, 2003) -- The Grand Prix Americas was supposed to be a great weekend for Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing. With the Champ Cars hitting the hometown streets of owner Emerson Fittipaldi and driver Tiago Monteiro, expectations were high. After qualifying in the top 10 on Saturday with the fastest Reynard, it looked like those expectations would be met, no problem. That was until Jourdain blocked Monteiro from his pit. Tiago had to leave pit lane without making his scheduled stop. On his way back around the circuit more bad luck as the FDR pilot was caught up in an incident between Junquiera and Fernandez. While both other drivers were able to continue, Monteiro's day was done.
"Basically, we had a great weekend," Monteiro said. "We qualified top 10; we were first of the Reynards. Everything was going fine; we had no mistakes. Then during the race, we were doing well. We were moving up in the ranks. I was P8. Then Jourdain put me out in the pits and then Junquiera put me in the wall. I was really unlucky. The point is once again we didn't finish the race because of others faults. It is really frustrating for me and the team. We were doing well. The whole incident with Junquiera was just wrong place at the wrong moment. The only thing that keeps me motivated is that we get better every race. And I hope we will do the same in Mexico City, and keep moving in the right direction."
Team owner Emerson Fittipaldi was disappointed with the final result, but was pleased with Monteiro's overall performance for the weekend. "Again we showed a good performance; we had the quickest Reynard. I'm very pleased with Tiago, Don (Bricker) and the crew. They did a great job this weekend. I'm disappointed with what happened to Tiago. Michel's crew sent him out just as Tiago was coming in, then Bruno took him out of the race completely. We should have been in the top 3 for sure; we had a faster car than (Mika) Salo. This was our race. I'm happy with Tiago's qualifying and we had a good car. Now we're looking forward to going to Mexico. I love Mexico. I think this is the best circuit on our schedule."
The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford next travels to Mexico City for round 17 of 19 October 9th through the 12th.