Mexico City -- It was awesome. Target Chip Ganassi driver Kenny Brack cured a bad year with a spectacular victory in front of a huge crowd that made the Mexico GP a great finale for the 2002 season of the FedEx CART Championship Series. Brack's...
Mexico City -- It was awesome. Target Chip Ganassi driver Kenny Brack cured a bad year with a spectacular victory in front of a huge crowd that made the Mexico GP a great finale for the 2002 season of the FedEx CART Championship Series.
Brack's team did a good job to win the first position over Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira in the final pit stops. "Fantastic victory, I don't believe that I won. This crowd makes me feel really good. We finished this season with great momentum", said Swedish.
The race was dominated by Mo Nunn driver Tony Kannan, who made a good pass at the beginning of the race to move from third position to first. In the second round of pit stops, though, he left before the fuel hose was disconnected, injuring several pit crew members when the spilled fuel ignited. He received a penalty from CART Marshals that ruined his victory aspirations. His mechanics recieved light burns on their arms and faces, but they will recover fully.
On the race's first lap there were many incidents on the track. Poleman Bruno Junqueira drove off course and was passed at turn 3 by many drivers and fell down to ninth position. At nearly the same moment, Paul Tracy hit the back of Jimmy Vasser's car in turn 1. Both were able to continue but were no longer in contention. Kannan made a good pass over Christian Fittipaldi, and held the lead until lap 40, when pit stop accident happened.
"I had a problem with my right foot but it was my mistake in turn three, but I came back and we had a good result for our team", said Junqueira.
A big disappointment for the Mexican crowd occurred on first lap, when Adrian Fernandez' substitute driver Luis Diaz blew his Honda engine, making for a bad debut in front of his fans. Despite that, Luis had a big support from them when he walk to his pit. "Unfortunately the engine blew up. I feel very sad for the guys. They worked so hard this weekend", said a sad Diaz.
The fans' next disappointment was Mario Dominguez' retirement at lap 16, when he had contact with rookie Andre Lotterer at the end of the main straight and suffered a broken rear suspension. His well-earned seventh position came to nothing when he pulled into his pit to end his race.
Nevertheless, Michel Jourdain raised the hopes for the many Mexican fans when he led the race for nine laps, making all fans stand up and cheer from the packed grandstands when the Gigante Office Depot driver went by. At the end, Jourdain fell back into the order when he made his final pit appearance. He fell to fourteenth position, recovering one position with Andretti's late-race crash at the end of the esses. Andretti's one-car accident was a sad end to his long CART career.
The season finale was a big success for all involved in CART series, with a beautiful track and excellent facilities. The rebuilt Hermanos Rodriguez track is now a perfect host to CART cars.