CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Mercedes race Report

Race: Miller Lite 225, The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis. Date/Session: Sunday, June 6, 1999 Race Results (Provisional) Note: Race results are provisional pending CART review of a possible infraction involving Gil de ...

Race:           Miller Lite 225, The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
Date/Session:   Sunday, June 6, 1999            Race Results (Provisional)

Note: Race results are provisional pending CART review of a possible infraction involving Gil de Ferran.

Moore, Mercedes Finish Second at Milwaukee Player's/Forsythe Driver Moves to Third Place in Championship Standings

Greg Moore gave Mercedes-Benz its second-consecutive podium finish Sunday at the Miller Lite 225, round seven of the CART FedEx Championship Series. Finishing 5.880 seconds behind winner Paul Tracy, Moore moved into third place in the PPG Cup drivers' championship point standings. His performance matched that of Helio Castro-Neves last week at Gateway International Raceway's Motorola 300. Fuel efficiency was decisive in today's 225-lap contest at the 1.032-mile oval, with the top four finishers successfully employing a two-stop strategy. While the leaders pitted under a late-race caution flag, Tracy, Moore and third place finisher Gil de Ferran stayed out, gaining track position which they held to the end. "We leave Milwaukee with another pole position, our second-consecutive podium finish and Greg Moore third in the championship-not a bad result," said Hal Whiteford, vice president of operations for Mercedes-Benz USA. "Obviously, we would have liked to win today, but it's very encouraging as we head to Portland." Moore's teammate Patrick Carpentier started eighth, raced consistently in the top 10 all afternoon and crossed the finish line fourth. Following the checkered flag, however, CART officials penalized Carpentier and Juan Montoya one lap each for passing Adrian Fernandez under caution on lap 210. The ruling dropped Carpentier to ninth place. PacWest Hollywood Mercedes driver Mauricio Gugelmin took the checkered flag in 10th place, but following the post-race protest, was awarded eighth position. Roberto "Super Sub" Moreno, substituting for injured Motorola pilot Mark Blundell, started ninth and ran as high as fifth thanks to quick pit work from his PacWest crew. Unfortunately, a late-race spin dropped the Brazilian back to 12th place. Marlboro Team Penske veteran Al Unser Jr. finished 19th. Bettenhausen Motorsports rookie Shigeaki Hattori brushed the outside wall on lap 118, collapsing his race car's right-front suspension. He was credited with 23rd place. After topping the time sheets in practice and scoring his first CART pole, Helio Castro-Neves led convincingly for 15 laps today, and set fastest lap of the race for the fourth time this season. His day ended frustratingly early, however, when his Hogan Racing Mercedes suffered boost problems, causing him to retire from the contest on lap 30. The FedEx Championship Series moves on to round eight at Portland International Raceway for the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 on June 20th.

Mercedes Quotes

Greg Moore, No. 99, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (Second/225 laps) "It wasn't that pretty, but we got it. Our strategy was to hang in there, and save fuel. At one point, I asked, 'Can we make it?' and the team said, 'We're all right.' Mercedes-Benz gave us good mileage today."

Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, PacWest Hollywood Mercedes/Firestone (Eighth/225 laps) "The balance of the Hollywood car was not terrible today. I think it was pretty much equal to most of the other cars out there. Unfortunately, the car was pushing in mid-corner and loose on the exit. We weren't able to gain any positions on our pit stops. I also had to pit for fuel right before the end of the race, which didn't help."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 33, Player's/Forsythe Mercedes/Firestone (Ninth/224 laps) "I'm very happy. We worked hard and wanted to get some points this weekend. I passed Gil de Ferran on the restart, but then it went yellow again right away. They ruled that I didn't pass him on the green, so I had to let him past (for third place)."

Roberto Moreno, No. 18, PacWest Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (12th/223 laps) "Once again the engineers gave me a superb car. The Mercedes-Benz engine was excellent today. My biggest handicap-and I think it was the same for most people out there-was overtaking. If you had an opportunity to pass, you really had to make the most of it." On his late-race spin: "I had a backmarker in front of me, and Christian Fittipaldi and I both went around him, one on each side. I had the inside line. Christian and I touched, and I spun. He had chopped me twice before during the race, too."

Shigeaki Hattori, No. 16, Epson Bettenhausen Motorsports Mercedes/Goodyear (23rd/118 laps) "It was just bad timing. We had talked to the other team, and they agreed to let us around, but when PJ Jones slowed down at the entry of turn three, I couldn't go low because the car didn't have enough grip. I tried to go outside, but got caught in the marbles and slide up into the wall."

Helio Castro-Neves, No. 9, Hogan Racing Mercedes/Firestone (26th/30 laps) "The car was working well. I was very happy with the start and the restart. Hogan Racing did a fantastic job again. The problem was with the boost, but we don't have the specifics yet. If it's not our turn, then the next one will be. Carl told me that I was doing a good job. These things happen, and you just have to live with it. We've proven that we can do it."

hProvisional Race Results, Miller Lite 225 West Allis, Wis. June 6, 1999

Pos.    Driver                  Engine          Laps
1       Paul Tracy              Honda           225
2       Greg Moore              Mercedes-Benz   225
3       Gil de Ferran           Honda           225
4       Jimmy Vasser            Honda           225
5       Adrian Fernandez        Ford Cosworth   225
6       Christian Fittipaldi    Ford Cosworth   225
7       Dario Franchitti        Honda           225
8       Mauricio Gugelmin       Mercedes-Benz   225
9       Patrick Carpentier      Mercedes-Benz   224
10      Juan Montoya            Honda           224
12      Roberto Moreno          Mercedes-Benz   223
19      Al Unser Jr.            Mercedes-Benz   221
23      Shigeaki Hattori        Mercedes-Benz   118
26      Helio Castro-Neves      Mercedes-Benz   30
Driver's Championship:          Manufacturer's Championship
Juan Montoya            73 pts          Honda           132 points
Dario Franchitti        71              Ford Cosworth   113
Greg Moore              69              Mercedes-Benz   81
Michael Andretti        61              Toyota          21

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Series IndyCar
Teams Team Penske