JACKSON, MI - - OCTOBER 2, 2001 - - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver's Roberto Moreno and Jimmy Vasser will continue their pursuit of a place in the top-10 in the FedEx Championship Series standings this weekend at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of...
JACKSON, MI - - OCTOBER 2, 2001 - - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver's Roberto Moreno and Jimmy Vasser will continue their pursuit of a place in the top-10 in the FedEx Championship Series standings this weekend at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston on the streets of Houston, Texas.
Moreno, who is behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, is currently 11th in the championship standings with 74 points. He is just two points out of 10th place and 18 out of fifth. Vasser, who is the defending Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston champion, has piloted the #40 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard to 14th place in the standings with 56 points. He is 20 points out of 10th. With just four races remaining in the 2001 campaign every race is crucial as both drivers seek to finish the season on a high note and among the points leaders.
Moreno, who has flirted with the top-10 in the standings for much of the season, has been as high as eighth in the points. The native of Brazil, who will be competing at Houston for just the second time, qualified 14th and finished 11th last year in his Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix debut. Moreno has had tremendous success at the street events this year. He has finished in the points in all five street races with three top-10 showings, two podium appearances and a win, a month ago in Vancouver. He has finished in the points in eight of nine road/street events this year with five top-10 showings including three podiums and a win.
"It is only my second time racing at Houston so I am still learning a bit about the track," Moreno said. "I like the circuit and the organizers do a great job of getting fans out to the race. Like any other street circuit you need good traction and braking to make the car work to its optimum. Also, like all the other street races qualifying is very important. I am looking forward to going to Houston and having a good performance. Hopefully, we can get the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard back into the top-10 in the championship standings and finish off the season strong," Moreno concluded.
The Weston, Florida resident has had a remarkably consistent 2001 season. He has finished 14 of 16 races this year, tied for the most of any driver, and placed in the points 11 of 16 times including eight of the last 11 events. Moreno has finished in the top-10 six times with three podiums and one win.
Vasser is looking to duplicate last year's thrilling victory at Houston as he tries to finish in the top-10 in the championship standings for the seventh consecutive season. The native of California, who has been as high as third in the championship standings this year, will be racing on the streets of Houston for the fourth time. In his three previous starts he has qualified in the top-three twice, third in 1998 and 2000, and finished in the top-four twice, fourth in 1998 and the win last year. Vasser has finished in the top-six in three of nine road/street races, all three times on street circuits.
"Last year was a great race for me and I am looking forward to the same result this year," Vasser said. "This has been a difficult year for a lot of reasons. At this point I think the best thing is to just get back to racing. Going into these last four events I have a lot of confidence because I have won on each of the four remaining tracks. My goal right now is to win a least one race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team and finish the season as high in the standings as I can," Vasser concluded.
The 1996 CART Champion started the 2001 season impressively finishing in the top-six in the first four races before falling victim to a series of incidents that can only be described as bad luck. He has scored points in just two of his last 12 races and snapped a streak of seven consecutive starts without a points paying showing two weeks ago at Rockingham. Vasser has placed in the top-10 seven times, the top-six five times and the top-five four times in the 16 races this year.