CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland Mercedes-Benz Race Report

Gil de Ferran made it two in a row for Team Penske by winning Sunday's Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway and became the first repeat winner of the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series. For the first time in...

Gil de Ferran made it two in a row for Team Penske by winning Sunday's Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway and became the first repeat winner of the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series. For the first time in CART history, Brazilian drivers claimed all three spots on the victory lane podium. De Ferran assumed the lead from teammate Helio Castroneves with fewer than 10 laps remaining in the 112-lap contest when Castroneves pitted for a splash of fuel, then held off Roberto Moreno and Christian Fittipaldi to notch his fifth career Champ Car triumph. The result tightened the driver's championship points standings as pre-race points leaders Paul Tracy and Jimmy Vasser failed to finish Sunday's race. Moreno assumed the lead by one point over race winner de Ferran.

Luiz Garcia Jr. led the five-car Mercedes-Benz contingent with a 14th-place finish for the Hollywood/Arciero Project Racing Group team. Bryan Herta, pinch-hitting for injured Tony Kanaan in the Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes, started in 20th place and moved up six places on the start when several cars tangled in the Festival Curves at the end of the front straight. But Herta's troubles began with his first scheduled pit stop, when his team could not get the flap on the fuel filler to open -- requiring Herta to pit again on the next lap. The crew freed the device and fueled the car, but the lengthy stop put the pilot two laps down. On his second scheduled pit stop, Herta incurred a pit-lane entry line violation and was forced to take a drive-through penalty which cost him an additional lap. In the final segment of the race, Herta drove consistently quick laps and finished 16th.

Mauricio Gugelmin pulled off course at Turn Two on lap 63 with a mechanical problem, and subsequently retired from the race. The PacWest Nextel Mercedes driver finished 19th. Teammate Mark Blundell parked his Motorola Mercedes shortly after the first round of pit stops with a mechanical problem and finished 20th. Michel Jourdain Jr. experienced an engine misfire at the green flag, and pitted a few laps later to allow the Herdez/Bettenhausen Mercedes crew to repair the problem. Jourdain Jr. returned to the track, but a subsequent misfire resulted in a broken header, ending his day.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Mark Blundell , Michel Jourdain , Luiz Garcia
Teams Team Penske