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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 interesting.

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, Alex.

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 Concorde expenses.

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.

JOURDAIN: Ditto.

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 idea.

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.


Read what others said.


RACE RESULTS
  Driver Laps
1. da Matta 78
2. de Ferran 78
3. Tracy 78
4. Andretti 78
5. Brack 78
6. Vasser 78
7. Kanaan 78
8. Castroneves 78
9. Franchitti 78
10. Takagi(R) 78
11. Minassian(R) 78
12. Papis 78
13. Dixon(R) 78
14. Servia 78
15. Gugelmin 78
16. Herta 78
17. Jourdain 78
18. Nakano 76
19. Fernandez 75
20. Fittipaldi 66
21. Tagliani 60
22. Junqueria(R) 57
23. Krumm(R) 51
24. Zanardi 39
25. Carpentier 38
26. Garcia 37
27. Moreno 21
28. Wilson(R) 7

Time of Race
2:00:44.850

Winner's Speed
81.548 mph

Margin of Victory
1.982 sec.

Caution Flags
3 for 16 laps

Lead Changes
5 among 4 drivers

Most Laps Led
Cristiano da Matta

Pole Position
Kenny Brack

CURRENT STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. da Matta 21
2. de Ferran 16
3. Tracy 14
4. Andretti 12
5. Brack 11
6. Vasser 8
7. Kanaan 6
8. Castoneves 5
9. Franchitti 4
10. Takagi(R) 3
11. Minassian(R) 2
12. Papis 1
 
 
2008 Thoughts
Long Beach

2007 Thoughts
Preseason Las Vegas Long Beach Houston
Portland Cleveland Mont Tremblant Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Road America Belgium
Holland Surfers Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2006 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Houston Monterrey
Milwaukee Portland Cleveland Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Denver Montreal
Road America Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2005 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Edmonton
San Jose Denver Montreal Las Vegas
Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2004 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Denver Montreal Laguna Seca
Las Vegas Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2003 Thoughts
Preseason St. Petersburg Monterrey Long Beach
Brands Hatch Germany Milwaukee Laguna Seca
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Mid-Ohio Montreal Denver
Miami Mexico City Surfer's Paradise Postseason

2002 Thoughts
Preseason Monterrey Long Beach Japan
Milwaukee Laguna Seca Portland Chicago
Toronto Cleveland Vancouver Mid-Ohio
Road America Montreal Denver
England Miami Surfer's Paradise
Fontana Mexico City Postseason

2001 Thoughts
Preseason Mexico Long Beach Nazareth
Japan Milwaukee Detroit Portland
Cleveland Toronto Michigan Chicago
Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver German
England Houston Laguna Seca
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

2000 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Long Beach Brazil
Japan Nazareth Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto Michigan
Chicago Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Gateway USGP Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1999 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Road America Toronto
U.S. 500 Detroit Mid-Ohio Chicago
Vancouver Laguna Seca Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1998 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Detroit Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Houston Surfer's Paradise Fontana

1997 Thoughts
Miami Surfer's Paradise Long Beach Nazareth
Brazil Gateway Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America
Vancouver Laguna Seca Fontana
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