NAZARETH, Pa. -- Not many race teams would consider 17th place a victory, however when a team was put together in less than two months and has the cards stacked against them, then 17th place is good news. And the news got better for the new...
NAZARETH, Pa. -- Not many race teams would consider 17th place a victory, however when a team was put together in less than two months and has the cards stacked against them, then 17th place is good news.
And the news got better for the new Arciero Project Racing Group (P.R.G.) and second-year CART driver Luiz Garcia Jr. Not only did Garcia and the team make the FedEx Championship Series season opener at Homestead, Fla., they managed to run consistent times towards the end of the event and finish in the money. When the leaders forced Garcia to go high into Turn 3, he got loose on the marbles while making the turn, and tapped the wall exiting Turn 4, forcing him to end his run. Overall though, the team was happy with the weekend performance and the chance to race.
For Nazareth, Garcia and Arciero P.R.G. will still have a disadvantage in driving a year-old Hollywood-Embratel-Tang-Reynard/Mercedes-Benz IC108E, however the team is looking forward to running on the .946-mile oval. And one advantage Garcia has that he didn't at Homestead is he has some seat time. Prior to the Homestead opener, Garcia had only six laps run in his car.
Although Garcia has been to Nazareth two prior times, he has yet to complete a full race lap there. He appeared at the track in an Indy Lights test in 1997, and later that year took part in the Indy Lights race. His race lasted only a half-lap as he was hit from behind by a competitor, forcing him out of the event.
* Garcia is one of eight Brazilian drivers in the CART FedEx Championship.
* This season is Garcia's second in the CART FedEx Championship.
* His best finish in a CART race was 14th at Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland last season.
* The Bosch Grand Prix will be Garcia's 12th CART start.
* Garcia won $11,500 in prize money at the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami.
* Total time span from Arciero P.R.G.'s founding to its first race on the track was less than two months.
* In 1999, Garcia completed a total of 719 out of 1,027 laps in races he competed in.
* This will be the second start for the Arciero P.R.G. in the FedEx Championship Series.
"Nazareth will be difficult track, but we will step up as a team. This is another chance for us to get to know each other and to work together. Since we are a new team, we are still learning. We will have a better presentation and I certainly want to finish this race." -- Luiz Garcia Jr., Driver
"Nazareth is one of the most challenging ovals on the CART circuit. It is going to be tough there without testing, but we're going to run and hopefully finish the race in a respectable position." -- Andreas Leberle, Team Owner