The race started cleanly, but both PacWest drivers lost positions early. Gugelmin had a poor start and fell to the rear in P27 on lap one, while Dixon had dropped back to P9 by lap 10. Gugelmin and Dixon spent most of the race battling their...
The race started cleanly, but both PacWest drivers lost positions early. Gugelmin had a poor start and fell to the rear in P27 on lap one, while Dixon had dropped back to P9 by lap 10. Gugelmin and Dixon spent most of the race battling their cars although they each pulled off four quick and clean pit stops. Gugelmin was experiencing a lot of push and had trouble entering the corners at speed because his car struggled on exit. Dixon suffered from lack of mechanical grip and found himself losing positions midway through the 154-lap event. He fell back as far as 16th due to his difficulty regaining momentum on the re-starts. The race ended under yellow conditions after a big crash on lap 143 involving Alex Zanardi and Alex Tagliani.
1SCOTT DIXON - #18 NEXTEL POWERWARE PANASONIC PACWEST TOYOTA
Starting Position: 6th Finishing Position: 9th Laps: 154
"My car really had no mechanical grip at all today," said Dixon. "It was a little better before we made our last stop, but basically it behaved the same way all day. I found myself having a bit more control when I was running alone, but I had serious trouble in traffic. The car also seemed to pitch a lot and my restarts were terrible. The car couldn't regain its momentum and I lost way too many positions. My team said they figured out what was wrong, so we should be alright for next weekend's race in England."
- #17 NEXTEL PACWEST TOYOTA
Starting Position: 23rd Finishing Position: 15th Laps: 152
"I fought a lot of push today and I really had trouble with my ability to carry sufficient speed into the corners," said Gugelmin. "The car was just moving too much for this place. When we pitted and got tires and fuel on lap 66 we elected to keep that set of tires on the car for the rest of the race. In doing so, as the race wore on, I found that I couldn't carry enough speed into the corners. The grip got better as the race progressed but I think we missed the correct set-up completely. We also had some other issues that we identified, and those will be fixed before we race in England."