CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Herdez Competition race report

Cristiano da Matta today wrapped up the CART FedEx Championship series in style by winning the inaugural Grand Prix Americas from the sixth starting position on the grid. Herdez Competition rookie driver Mario Domínguez finished today's race in...

Cristiano da Matta today wrapped up the CART FedEx Championship series in style by winning the inaugural Grand Prix Americas from the sixth starting position on the grid.

Herdez Competition rookie driver Mario Domínguez finished today's race in 11th place. Two brushes with the concrete walls surrounding the circuit required the pit crew to make repairs to the car in pit lane. While this time in the pits put Domínguez a few laps down on the leaders, the repairs made it possible for him to continue to contend for points. The repairs were clearly successful as Domínguez went on to post his fastest laps of the race and some of the fastest of the day.

Mario Domínguez - Driver
"The team gave me a great car today but two mistakes on my part really cost us. The pit crew did a fantastic job of replacing the steering block that was broken after I brushed the wall the first time. And then I hit the wall again - pushing a little too hard to make up time I guess. The track was still really slippery in places but it held up well during the race. This was a tough event today with the heat and the challenging track layout so I'm just happy that we were able to get back out there and bring the car home with some points."

Keith Wiggins - Managing Director
"The year continues to be a challenge for us. If we hadn't crashed on Friday we certainly would have started much higher up on the grid today, which I think we demonstrated with our results in the other sessions of the weekend. Mario was one of the fastest cars out there today for long periods so it's just a shame that some mistakes were made. But this is part of the learning process.

"I have to say that I think this event in Miami was a great success. The downtown area of Miami is a brilliant place for a race and, with some changes to the track layout to better suit our cars, I can see this becoming one of the best races in our series. When you combine that with the importance of the market for our sponsors, I can tell you that we are already looking forward to our return here in 2003."

Fast Facts

* Grand Prix Americas marks Domínguez's 16th start in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

* Dominguez today gained two points toward his pursuit of the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award. He remains in 20th position in the championship but he now trails by only two points.

What's Next
The CART FedEx Championship Series travels "down under" for round 17. The Honda Indy 300 will take place on the palm tree- and beach lined streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia on October 28, 2002.

-hc-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Dominguez , Cristiano da Matta