LEXINGTON, OHIO - SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2001 -- Round ...
LEXINGTON, OHIO - SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2001 -- Round #13 of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing's Roberto Moreno finished sixth while teammate Jimmy Vasser placed 23rd at today's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Moreno, driving the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, started 15th, but battled his way through the field passing several cars to put himself in contention for a top-10 finish. Attrition became a factor in the second half of the race as the talented Brazilian continued to move through the field and earn his highest finish and first top-10 showing in six races at Mid-Ohio.
"I used the same strategy today that I did here two years ago when I started way back in the pack. The trick to passing cars here at Mid-Ohio is to get a good run out of turn #2 and get in the slip steam," Moreno explained. "The #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard has been good all weekend and the crew did a great job today and throughout the weekend. We had a hiccup with the brake pedal in qualifying when my foot slipped off and that gave us a big handicap. We overcame the low starting position, which shows that a team effort will pay off. Today wasn't a day to save a lot of fuel. It was a day to go for it. So we played that strategy and it worked well for us. Overall, I am very happy. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team had a good result today and we scored some more points for the championship," Moreno concluded.
The Weston, Flordia resident has now placed in the points in nine of the 12 races this year including six of the last seven and nine of the last 11. Moreno has five top-10 finishes and two podium appearances. He has finished in the points in six of the seven road/street events this year with four top-10 showings including both his podium finishes. Moreno has completed 11 of the 12 races this year, the most of any driver, and is now 12th in the championship standings with 52 points.
The talented and personable father of two has finished in the points in 17 of his last 26 road/street course races with 13 top-10 placements, seven top-five showings and five podiums including one victory (career first, and only, Cleveland 2000). He has finished in the top-10 in 23 of his last 45 starts and in the points 31 times.
Vasser, piloting the #40 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, started a season high fourth, but moved into third place on the opening lap. He remained in third, and in contact with both the lead cars, throughout the first segment of the race. Following the first round of pit stops, on laps 29 and 30, he rejoined the contest in third, but with a couple of lapped cars between him and the leaders. On lap 34 he was attempting to work his way through the lapped traffic when he became involved in an incident with Michel Jourdain Jr. who was down a lap to the leaders. The contact knocked Vasser off the track damaging his car beyond repair.
"I am disappointed because we haven't done very well since Japan and I was looking forward to a strong finish today," Vasser said. "The #40 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard was very competitive in the race. The crew did a good job all weekend getting the car ready. We were running with the lead two cars in the race and then I came up on some lapped traffic. I was trying to get past one of the lapped cars and I thought I was making a clean pass when Michel (Jourdain) came down on me. I haven't seen the video, but it is my understanding that lapped cars are supposed to yield to the cars on the lead lap. I want to look at the tape before I pass judgment, but it is unfortunate because we had a good car and we were looking at a podium finish," Vasser explained.
Vasser, who started the season impressively finishing in the top-six in the first four races has now scored points in just one of the last eight races. He has finished in the top- five four times and has placed in the top-six in five of 12 races this year. Vasser is now 13th in the championship race with 50 points. He has finished in the top-six in three of the seven road/street races this season. He has finished in the top-10 in five of 10 races at Mid-Ohio.
In 96 CART career road/street races, the Las Vegas, Nevada resident has finished in the points 56 times with 49 top-10 finishes, 25 top-five showings, 14 podium appearances and four wins. He has started 159 CART races earning 91 top-10 finishes including 26 podium showings. Vasser has completed 92 of his last 114 races placing in the points 86 times (dating to Milwaukee '95).
Moreno's sixth place finish at Mid-Ohio is the 18th time the team has placed in the points in 26 races. They have 16 top-10 showings, nine top-five finishes and two wins (Fittipaldi - 1988 and Adrian Fernandez - 1998).
Next up for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team is the Motorola 220 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin August 17-19.