CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland so close for de Ferran last year

So close last year Gil De Ferran Portland. OR -- You couldn't blame Gil de Ferran (Valvoline/Cummins Special Reynard Honda) if he felt that Portland International Raceway, as the drivers say, "owes him one." De Ferran has finished second in...

So close last year

Gil De Ferran

Portland. OR -- You couldn't blame Gil de Ferran (Valvoline/Cummins Special Reynard Honda) if he felt that Portland International Raceway, as the drivers say, "owes him one." De Ferran has finished second in each of the past two FedEx Championship Series events at Portland, including last year's crushing loss to Mark Blundell (Motorola PacWest Mercedes) by 27-thousandths of a second, the closest finish in Championship Car racing history.

"It's out of my mind, to be honest," says de Ferran. "I can't win that one anymore. I look ahead." Blundell set the stage for his first career FedEx Championship Series victory by pitting for slick tires with 11 laps remaining on a rapidly drying track which had been soaked by an earlier rainstorm. De Ferran, who remained on rain tires, took the lead during Blundell's pit stop, and held it as the two drivers came off the final corner on the 77th and final lap. "It became a drag race to the finish line and I had just a little bit of wheel spin coming out of the last turn. The car went a little bit wide, and that was it."

Blundell's margin of victory, as calculated by OMEGA timing, Official Timekeeper of the FedEx Championship Series, was roughly seven feet. "We chose to stay on wet tires and we almost won the race," said de Ferran, whose runner-up effort helped him to second place in the championship at season's end. "For the drivers, it was definitely a very difficult race. You had to explore skills you didn't know you had."

"I think it's fair to say that we were unlucky not to win last year's race at Portland," said Walker Racing team owner Derrick Walker, "Gil did a great job in very difficult conditions."

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Mark Blundell