Today's CART on-track activities begin with a 30-minute warm-up session at 9 a.m., followed by the Green Flag for the running of the Rio 400 at 1 p.m. GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the final practice session for today's Rio 400. At...
Today's CART on-track activities begin with a 30-minute warm-up session at 9 a.m., followed by the Green Flag for the running of the Rio 400 at 1 p.m.
GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the final practice session for today's Rio 400.
At 9:05 a.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #12 VASSER with a lap of 166.136 mph (40.391 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (164.584 mph; 40.772 seconds), and #77 MEIER (161.145 mph; 41.642 seconds).
YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:07 a.m. after #19 JOURDAIN Jr stalls on the backstretch and has to be towed by CART safety personnel to the pit area.
GREEN FLAG waves at 9:11 a.m. to resume the practice session.
At 9:15, 15 minutes and halfway through the final session, into the final practice session, the fastest driver is #12 VASSER with a lap of 167.208 mph (40.132 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (166.424 mph; 40.321 seconds), and #99 MOORE (166.264 mph; 40.360 seconds).
YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:21 a.m. after CART safety workers report debris in Turn 1.
GREEN FLAG waves at 9:23 a.m. to resume the session.
At 9:25 a.m., with five minutes left in the practice session, the fastest driver is #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 168.510 mph (39.822 seconds), followed by #33 CARPENTIER (167.932 mph; 39.959 seconds), and #26 TRACY (167.404 mph; 40.085 seconds).
At 9:29 a.m., with one minute remaining in the session, the fastest driver is #12 VASSER with a lap of 169.352 mph (39.624 seconds), followed by teammate #1 ZANARDI (168.913 mph; 39.648 seconds).
CHECKERED FLAG waves at 9:30 a.m. with #99 MOORE the fastest driver with a lap of 169.888 mph (39.499 seconds), followed by #12 VASSER (169.579 mph; 39.571 seconds), and #5 DE FERRAN (169.249 mph; 39.648 seconds). The top 18 drivers are separated by less than one second in lap times in this final practice session. Cart drivers introduced 29 different cars to the track this morning, logging a total of 322 incident-free laps during the session. Secondary cars were utilized by #21X KANAAN, #10X HEARN, #20X PRUETT, #25X PAPIS, #98X JONES, and #5X DE FERRAN.
On Saturday, May 10, 1998, the Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the site of a pit stop, tire-changing contest sponsored by Omega Timing. The contestants were SBT (Brazilian Television) versus their American counterparts from ABC Television. The crew of SBT was made up of Teo Joje, Luiz Carlos Azenha, Celso Miranda, and Antonio Petrin. The crew from ABC consisted of Bob Varsha, Gary Gerould, Jon Beekhuis, and Kyle Conrad. The format gave each team two opportunities to record its lowest pit-stop time after FedEx Championship Series driver GIL DE FERRAN pulled the Valvoline/Cummins Special Reynard Honda into the pit box. SBT emerged the winners with a 13.77-second stop while ABC mustered a 15.54-second performance. Omega Timing rewarded the SBT crew with brand new Omega Speedmaster watches.
At 12:56 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by the honorary starter, EMERSON FITTIPALDI.
At 1:00 p.m., the Pace Car begins to roll with the field in tow for the first of 3 pace laps.
GREEN FLAG waves at 1:05 p.m. to start the Rio 400.
# 21 KANAAN passes #27 FRANCHITTI going into Turn 1 just past the green flag but is quickly passed on the backstretch by third-place starter #1 ZANARDI who leads the first lap. #5 DE FERRAN follows ZANARDI through to take over second place with KANAAN third and FRANCHITTI fourth.
On lap 5, the running order is #1 ZANARDI leading by 1.326 seconds over second-place #5 DE FERRAN, with #21 KANAAN third.
BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 8 to #20 PRUETT and #17 GUGELMIN for a start violation. Both cars pit on Lap 11 for a drive-through penalty and return to the race. PRUETT falls from 13th to 24th and GUGELMIN falls from 19th to 28th.
On Lap 10, #1 ZANARDI leads by .756 seconds over #5 DE FERRAN, with #21 KANAAN third, #27 FRANCHITTI fourth, and #11 FITTIPALDI fifth.
On lap 19, #25 PAPIS pulls off-course at Turn 3 with engine problems and withdraws from the race.
On Lap 20, the running order is #1 ZANARDI leading by .370 seconds over #5 DE FERRAN, with #21 KANAAN third, #27 FRANCHITTI fourth, and #11 FITTIPALDI fifth.
On Lap 24, #11 FITTIPALDI and #6 ANDRETTI pass #21 KANAAN to take over fourth and fifth place respectively.
On Lap 25, #99 MOORE and #26 TRACY pass #21 KANAAN to take over sixth and seventh place respectively.
YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 29 after #21 KANAAN loses power at Turn 3 and smoke erupts from the rear of the car.
On Lap 30, the running order under a full-course caution flag is #1 ZANARDI leading by .895 seconds over #5 DE FERRAN, #27 FRANCHITTI, #11 FITTIPALDI, and #6 ANDRETTI.
On Lap 31, the entire field pits under the yellow flag. #1 ZANARDI wins the race off pit road with #27 FRANCHITTI moving up from third to second, and #6 ANDRETTI moving up from fourth to third. #26 TRACY moves up from seventh to fourth and #5 DE FERRAN falls from second to fifth. ANDRETTI hits a tire on pit road and is scheduled by Race Control for a black flag penalty when the race goes back to a green flag along with #10 HEARN. HEARN's car had struck a pit crew member when pitting on Lap 31.
GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 36 to resume the race.
BLACK FLAG waves on Lap 36 for #6 ANDRETTI and #10 HEARN. Both drivers pit for the penalty and return to the race. #6 ANDRETTI falls from 6th to 24th and loses a lap to the leaders during the process. HEARN pits in 19th place and returns to the race without losing a position
YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 39 after #5 DE FERRAN attempts to pass #26 TRACY on the inside in Turn 1. The cars make side-to-side contact and both cars slide into the tire barrier at the top of the track. Both drivers are uninjured but both cars are too damaged to continue the race.
On Lap 40 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #1 ZANARDI leading #27 FRANCHITTI, #8 HERTA, #11 FITTIPALDI, and #7 RAHAL.
GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 46 with #1 ZANARDI leading #27 FRANCHITTI.
On Lap 50, the running order is #1 ZANARDI leading by 1.454 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, #8 HERTA, #11 FITTIPALDI, and #7 RAHAL. There are 18 cars on the lead lap at this point
YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 54 after #19 JOURDAIN Jr. contacts the wall at Turn 1. The driver exits the car under his own power but the car is too damaged to continue the race.
On Lap 55, #27 FRANCHTTI is the only car of the leaders to pit and he hands over second place to #8 HERTA. FRANCHITTI returns to the race in 15th place. #2 UNSER JR. also pits while in 16th place and returns to the race without losing any positions.
Of the early-race, black-flagged drivers, #6 ANDRETTI has moved up to 11th and #20 PRUETT has moved up to ninth.
GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 59.
On Lap 60, #1 ZANARDI leads by 1.647 seconds over #8 HERTA, # 11 FITTIPALDI, #7 RAHAL, and #40 FERNANDEZ.
On Lap 61, #40 FERNANDEZ passes #7 RAHAL to take over fourth place.
On Lap 62, #99 MOORE passes #7 RAHAL to take over fifth place.
On Lap 66, #6 ANDRETTI passes #33 CARPENTIER to take over eighth place.
On Lap 70, #1 ZANARDI leads by 2.855 seconds over #8 HERTA, #11 FITTIPALDI, #40 DE FERRAN, and #40 FERNANDEZ.
On Lap 76, #8 HERTA and #6 ANDRETTI pit.
On Lap 77, #1 ZANARDI, #11 FITTIPALDI, and #99 MOORE pit and #10 HEARN takes over the lead. This is the first lap led by HEARN since Fontana in 1997.
On lap 78, #11 FITTIPALDI pits with a fuel system problem and subsequently withdraws from the race.
On Lap 80, the running order is #10 HEARN leading by 1.141 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, with #1 ZANARDI in third, #2 UNSER JR. in fourth, and #8 HERTA in fifth.
On Lap 81, #3 RIBEIRO withdraws from the race with transmission problems.
On Lap 82, the leader #10 HEARN pits and #27 FRANCHITTI takes over the lead with #1 ZANARDI in second.
On lap 89, #27 FRANCHITTI pits and hands the lead to #1 ZANARDI with #2 UNSER JR. in second. FRANCHITTI subsequently withdraws from the race with electrical problems.
YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 90 after #34 SALLES makes contact with the Turn 1 tire barrier. SALLES is uninjured but the car is too damaged to continue the race. The running order under the caution flag is #1 ZANARDI leading #2 UNSER JR., #8 HERTA, #40 FERNANDEZ, and #6 ANDRETTI.
On Lap 92, all of the front running drivers pit for fuel with #1 ZANARDI winning the race off pit road with #99 MOORE moving up from fifth to second during the stop. #40 FERNANDEZ is in third, #10 HEARN in fourth, and #8 HERTA in fifth.
GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 97 with #1 ZANARDI leading by .540 seconds over second-place MOORE.
On Lap 100, the running order is #1 ZANARDI leading by .937 seconds over #99 MOORE, with #40 FERNANDEZ in third, #10 HEARN in fourth, and #8 HERTA in fifth. There are 13 cars on the lead lap at this point of the race.
On Lap 104, #33 CARPENTIER pits with front wing damage and hands sixth place to #12 VASSER.
On Lap 110, the running order is #1 ZANARDI leading by 1.025 seconds over #99 MOORE, with #40 FERNANDEZ in third, #10 HEARN in fourth, and #8 HERTA in fifth.
On Lap 112, #8 HERTA passes #10 HEARN to take fourth place. #33 CARPENTIER withdraws from the race with handling problems.
On Lap 118, #2 UNSER JR. slows on the backstretch and pits, handing sixth place to #6 ANDRETTI. UNSER JR. subsequently withdraws from the race with an engine problem..
On Lap 120, #1 ZANARDI leads by .275 seconds with #99 MOORE in second, #40 FERNANDEZ in third, #8 HERTA in fourth, and #10 HEARN in fifth.
On Lap 129, #99 MOORE passes #1 ZANARDI to the inside of Turn 1 after ZANARDI encounters trouble passing a lapped car on the front stretch. ZANARDI runs high into the first turn and MOORE opens a 1.706-second lead at the line.
On Lap 130, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by 1.610 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, #40 FERNANDEZ, #8 HERTA, and #10 HEARN. #6 ANDRETTI passes #12 VASSER to take sixth place.
On Lap 131, #99 MOORE leads by .908 seconds over #1 ZANARDI.
WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 132 with #99 MOORE leading by .396 seconds over #1 ZANARDI.
CHECKERED FLAG waves on Lap 133 for Rio 400 winner GREG MOORE. MOORE wins by .427 seconds over second-place ALEX ZANARDI, with #40 FERNANDEZ in third, #8 HERTA in fourth, and #6 ANDRETTI in fifth. ANDRETTI and #12 VASSER both passed #10 HEARN on the last lap, relegating HEARN to a seventh place finish. There were eight cars on the lead lap and 15 cars running at the end of the race.
MOORE averaged 132.531 mph in today's race, taking 1 hour, 52 minutes and 14.135 seconds to cover the 133 laps. MOORE shattered the race record with today's performance, breaking the existing race record of 117.927 mph, set in 1996 by ANDRE RIBEIRO. Today represents MOORE's third career victory and his first since Detroit last season. MOORE extends the PPG Cup lead over ZANARDI by three more points (71 to 67). MOORE becomes the fifth different winner in the last five races, only the fourth time that has occurred in CART history.
Second place goes to ALEX ZANARDI. This represents ZANARDI's second consecutive runner-up finish this season and his fourth, top-three finish in five events. ZANARDI also passed the 1000-lap-led mark today, 13th in the all-time CART standings. ZANARDI retains 2nd place in the PPG Cup Points Championship, with a total of 67 points.
Third place today goes to ADRIAN FERNANDEZ. This is FERNANDEZ's second podium appearance this season with the other podium finish a win at Motegi, Japan. Today also represents FERNANDEZ's fourth top-six finish in the five events of 1998. FERNANDEZ retains third place in the PPG Cup Points Championship with 55 points.
Today's race is the third consecutive podium sweep by Firestone this season and the first win of the 1998 season for Mercedes.
There were five different lap leaders today with ZANARDI leading the most with 117, followed by FRANCHITTI with 7, MOORE with 5, and HEARN with 4.
Driver quotes from today's Rio 400 follow:
GREG MOORE, Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes: "I'm obviously very pleased with today. I would have liked to have led every lap like Alex did. When he got the point for most laps led midway through the race, we were tied in the championship. It's nice to leave Rio with the championship lead. I don't know why, but when we get outside North America we tend to do very, very well. I was second here and second in Australia last year and third in Australia the year before that. Alex [Zanardi] is one of the best [drivers] out there, and to be able to race with him and pass him like I did, with three or four laps to go, is very, very gratifying. I can't leave Brazil any happier, that's for sure."
ALEX ZANARDI, Target Reynard Honda: "It was everything but exciting for me. I was not looking for any excitement today. I think that today I had the best car, and that the Target/Chip Ganassi team gave me a great car the whole weekend. It is very disappointing to me that we lost this race. At the very end, I was conserving fuel, and I don't think Greg could have caught me. I felt that it was better to have one gallon too much than to have to cut it so close. But I came up behind the same backmarker that made me lose second place in Miami and for some reason he decided to slow down in the middle of the straightaway. I don't understand how things like that happen when you're competing at this level. It's very disappointing that we lost this race."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ, Tecate/Quaker State/Labatt Reynard Ford: "The day was a little bit of a mystery in [terms of] the way we were going to set up the car. We made a complete change this morning, but we learned a lot from what happened at Nazareth [where Fernandez exited due to first lap contact], and we're very happy with the result. In the race, I had a good start, and was running a good pace. But later on, my brakes started to fail and after that I just tried to maintain my position. The last pit stop was the key for Greg. He had a much better stop, and was able to stay in front of me the rest of the way."
GREG MOORE is the only driver to lead in every race of the season and also the only driver to complete every lap of the 1998 FedEx Championship Series season.
The Third Annual CARA Charities Rio Auction was held Friday, May 8, 1998 at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to benefit the Socredade Viva Caluza Lar de Frei Luiz (Children With Aids Charity House). This year, Suzy Fittipaldi, mother of Christian Fittipaldi, was spokesperson for the auction and in charge of arrangements. Items were collected by CARA Charities after being donated by the drivers, sponsors, and teams of the FedEx Championship Series. The event was a cocktail party followed by the auction. Cocktails and h'douvres were donated by the Inter-Continental Hotel. There were no expenses and all money raised went to the charities. All three years, the money raised went to children's charities in Brazil. Over $50,000 has been donated to children's charities in Brazil.
Source: CART Online