2001 Mexico Thoughts
RACE: It would have been nearly impossible to top the amazing NASCAR race at Atlanta
the same day, so let's just say it was great seeing the Champ Cars run again. Too bad the
Brack and da Matta battle didn't last longer.
TRACK: For what is supposed to be a permanent road course, why are there street course
like turns, like the 6-7 complex?
PAVEMENT: Yeah, it was the first event, but a track breaking up is just not right. If
you're not going to be ready, don't plan a major event as your first race. Next year, there will
be absolutely no excuses.
FANS: Some may be surprised by 318,000 fans for the weekend. Don't be. Mexico has a
rich history of racing fandom -- the original Mexican Grands Prix that brought in wild crowds, the
Carrera Panamericana, and the Baja off road races are just some examples. The lack of major racing
events in Mexico is due to economic and business reasons, not lack of interest. And unlike Brazil,
Mexicans are race fans first, fans of their countrymen second.
START: There's nothing like a green flag to start a new racing season!
DA MATTA: Michael Andretti wins the race! Oh ... wait ... Michael is no longer driving
the black #6 Texaco car. Sorry about that Cristiano. We won't make that mistake again. Honest.
BRACK: Kenny must be wondering if there is an IRL curse on him.
DE FERRAN: I absolutely cannot imagine what it must be like to drive a Champ Car for two
hours with a stomach ailment.
TRACY: Picked up right where he left off last year. this is getting downright
ANDRETTI: You know Michael, that team you left was a pretty good outfit... However, a
good debut effort with this new combination as well.
VASSER: A typical Vasser run. And, I'm sure he's getting a few digs in on his friend,
FRANCHITTI: It was Dario that had the fastest lap of the day, and coming out from his
last pit stop in third place had him poised for a great finish. Then, the pit lane violation...
DIXON: A very strong run for his first race. Hey, Mr. Chipster, there are some well
qualified drivers right in front of your nose in CART's support system. Save yourself the
TAKAGI: You may not have noticed, but the fastest rookie was Tora, not Dixon.
SIGMA: Nice debut. And, as long as Servia doesn't play bumper cars, this team could
make some noise.
FERNANDEZ: The pressure must have been enormous.
ZANARDI: "I should have been more patient." Ahh ... yeah!
FITTIPALDI: Well, it didn't take long for da Matta to establish himself as the fastest
driver on Newman-Haas. Will be interesting to see how Christian responds.
JUNQUEIRA: Don't be so quick to blame Zanardi. Look at the turn before when Zanardi
was right next to Bruno, and Junqueira squeezed him against the curbing. A rookie doesn't do
that to a veteran, especially in the majors. Alex was teaching Bruno a lesson.
KNEIFEL: He tried his best to keep the race moving along. At least he had the right
ROAD RAGE: Just how did that cell phone get out there?
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Cristiano da Matta on the amazing reception from Mexican fans,
"I wasn't expecting to see so much enthusiasm and so many fans that love Champ Car racing. I saw
more enthusiasm here with my race win than even when Andre [Ribeiro] won in Brazil in '96. I'm
really happy to win in front of so many enthusiastic fans in Mexico."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Paul Tracy said this on Friday, but it held true all
weekend, "If you get just a couple of inches off the line, you're off the track and it's difficult
to win from there."
SCHEDULE: A long gap due to Rio's cancellation, but it will be worth waiting for CART's
premier event -- Long Beach.
Copyright © 2001 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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