The Race

The Race

This is our view of the race, from the Festival Curves Grandstand.
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Warm-up Lap

The drivers get the feel of the soaking wet track on the first warm-up lap, maintaining their qualifying order behind the pace cars.

The last warm-up lap before the start sees the drivers experimenting to find the best lines through the puddles and some visibility through the spray.

Second Warmup Lap
They're Off!

The start: Pruett leads the field through the Festival Curves. In the background, Zanardi overcooks it and slides off onto the grass.

Dropping way back from his 7th place starting position, Zanardi keeps it alive and drives over the grass to rejoin the race.

Zanardi on the Grass
Dario past Michael

Dario Franchitti passes Michael Andretti.

The first of seven restarts after periods of yellow flags - this one to clear a cone from the track.

Restart after Yellow
More Restart

Fernandez pushes Unser wide on the entrance to the Curves.

While at the same time, Ribeiro is doing it to Jourdain.

Jourdain on the Grass
Zanardi Passes Franchitti to Pursue Pruett

By lap 15 Gugelmin has slipped past Pruett for the lead and Zanardi takes third place from Franchitti (in his spray). And that's Mark Blundell just behind.

Close-up of Pruett from the previous shot.

Close-up of Pruett
Pruett's Spray

You can see how wet it was from the spray kicked up by Pruett as he flies down the front straight.

With Zanardi past Pruett and off to hunt down Gugelmin, Franchitti makes his pass for third place. Now Pruett has Blundell breathing down his neck.

Franchitti Passes Pruett
Zanardi, Gugelmin, Vasser

Lap 31 sees another yellow flag for the first round of pit stops. The Target team do an excellent job, getting Zanardi back out in front of Gugelmin to take the lead of the race.

A lap later and Al Unser Jr. takes out Dario Franchitti, when he won't accept defeat after a pretty obvious pass.

AlTakes Out Dario
Salles on Fire

Gualter Salles exits in flames on lap 67.

Blundell changes to dry weather "slick" tyres on lap 67 and begins to work his way up the field, here about to pick off Andretti and Moore.

Blundell Hounding Moore and Andretti
de Ferran Ahead of Blundell on Final Lap

Zanardi pitted on lap 54, paving the way for Gil de Ferran to make his way up to first place.

With one lap to go, Blundell is on his tail as they pass a stricken Vasser, who has spun and stalled.

And Mark Blundell comes round ahead, having passed de Ferran by less than half a car's length on the finishing line, for the closest finish in CART history.

Mark Leads the Lap of Honour

Paul Jasper's Web Site | Racing | Portland 1997

1997-1998 Paul Jasper. Last updated Friday May 06, 2005.