After starting 11th on today's grid, the Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing entry was involved in an early crash with Oriol Servia dropping the car to 15th, 3 laps down. The crew did a fantastic job fixing the damage and getting the car back on the track,...
After starting 11th on today's grid, the Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing entry was involved in an early crash with Oriol Servia dropping the car to 15th, 3 laps down. The crew did a fantastic job fixing the damage and getting the car back on the track, but 24 laps later, Canadian driver Alex Tagliani crashed into the #7 entry, ending the day.
Disappointed and frustrated team owner Emerson Fittipaldi is ready to move forward. "I'm very disappointed," he said. "We had the 6th quickest lap. It's a shame; we had a strong car and could have finished strong. It's disappointing. Oriol tried to come back very strong; Tiago was on the outside and lost it. Later we had an incident with Tagliani that took us out. Next week we go to Elkhart Lake and Tiago will be very fast there."
Fittipaldi-Dingman driver Tiago Monteiro was frustrated with weekend's result. After qualifying just outside the top 10, the young Portuguese driver was looking forward to putting on a good show for his sponsors. The team hosted sponsor O2 Diesel and their guests for the weekend, culminating with today's race. The weather was perfect, the car was good, but the result was less than what he was hoping for. "It's very disappointing," he said. "First lap crashes are always stupid, but everyone is fighting for position. Then we had a very good car, I was actually going 6th fastest. Before the first pit stop, we were really competitive, the team is really improving and I'm working better and better with my engineer. The 2nd accident was once again silly as I was on hot tires and Tag on cold tires and when I went inside to pass him he just closed the door. We did a very good test in Elkhart Lake last month so we're really looking forward to that race and we'll forget this one."
Now the team moves on to Elkhart Lake and the famous Road America road course. It's the type of course that Tiago likes, so everyone is optimistic that the team will be back into the points this time next week. HDTV will broadcast the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America, round 12 of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford starting at 11:00 CT and continuing through the end of the race.