Portland 1999 - Sunday - Race

Sunday - The Race
Pre-race Pace Car

The pace car leads the field around the track for the formation lap, headed by Juan and Helio.

13:06 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

And they're away, with Helio hurling himself into turn one at the Festival Curves to steal the lead for the next 30 laps.

13:09 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

The Start
The Field

The rest of the field makes it through the Festival Curves with barely an incident.

13:09 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

24 laps later Robby Gordon spins and then rips up the grass to rejoin the race. I know Robby is the king of off-road racing, but this is ridiculous!

13:34 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/500 CF5.6

Off-road Robby
Juan Pablo Over-shooting

Juan brakes too late and has to make an escape by cutting the chicane. He still manages to hold onto second place, though. On lap 30 he takes the lead as Helio starts to slow and begins a serious of painful pit-stops, culminating in his retirement ten laps later.

13:42 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/700 CF5.6

On lap 46 Richie Hearn spins and Christian Fittipaldi brakes hard to avoid him.

13:57 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/350 CF5.6

Richie in a Whirl
Tarso Danger I

Richie's incident brings out the yellow flag for a full course caution. The safety crew is just about to step out to help him when Tarso Marques enters the turn too fast and has to drive between the safety truck and Richie's car!

13:59 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/700 CF5.6

Richie is restarted and the safety crew has barely got back in the truck when Tarso comes round on his next lap and passes them on the wrong side again! What does he think he's doing?

14:00 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/700 CF5.6

Tarso Danger II
Montoya Recovery

On the restart Montoya spins coming onto the main straight, dropping two places to de Ferran and Tracy. However he recovers and immediately passes Tracy. The yellow flag stays out for another three laps while the officials decide what to do. They choose to let de Ferran keep the lead, but he loses it to Montoya at the first turn on the restart.

14:09 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/350 CF5.6

Only three laps later, it is P.J. Jones' turn to spin and drift into the gravel trap, causing another yellow and an earlier than anticipated fueling stop for the leaders.

14:13 Fujicolor Smart F100 SS1/500 CF5.6

P.J. Spins
Freight Train Restart

Montoya's pit crew dropped the car off the jacks too quickly and had to lift him again to complete the change of the left front wheel. This allowed Gil de Ferran to emerge from the pits in the lead, with Montoya and Tracy right behind.

14:20 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

Dario passes Paul for third place on lap 66: "I was tempted to radio in and say, would it be OK, because I was a lot quicker. Paul was trying to get mileage and I was managing to get better. I think basically he was drafting me up the track helping the fuel mileage. I had a bit more, he was backing up on the straight and it was a very clean pass."

14:24 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

Dario and Paul
Michael and Max

Michael Andretti passes Max Papis, still in his Harley Davidson colors from Milwaukee, on lap 82 before dropping into the pits for his third stop a lap later. He had worked his way up from 25th after a disastrous stall on his first pit stop, finishing tenth overall.

14:41 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/700 CF5.6

For the last 30 laps Dario was shadowing JP: "It was a fuel saving race after the last pit stop. Juan and myself were playing this kind of game where he would accelerate and I would accelerate, then he would back off and I would back off… what I was planning was to catch him unawares, turn the thing up and go blasting by, but he was keeping an eye on his mirrors and would catch me just in time."

14:49 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

Montoya Holds Off Franchitti
Gil Triumphs

Gil de Ferran takes the checkered flag for the win. As team owner Derrick Walker put it: "Our fuel mileage was not what we wanted so we decide to start racing instead of trying to play the two-stop strategy. Pit stops were key! Gaining track position gave us the idea to go. Gil drove a flawless race and our car was good enough to make good use of the tires."

14:57 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/700 CF5.6

The Brazilian fans were delighted and very noisy during the awards ceremony!

15:14 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/1000 CF5.6

Brazilian Superfans
Honda Winners

Honda's podium sweep was the second in its five-year Champ Car racing history, following a podium sweep by Franchitti, Alex Zanardi and Tony Kanaan, respectively, at Houston last year.

15:27 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/250 CF6.7

"Once I was up to speed, Derrick kept telling me to save fuel, and obviously I wasn't doing a good enough job of that. So he said 'Let's go to position eight' [maximum fuel setting] and go for a gap. After that, I just concentrated on driving every lap as hard as I could. When we came in for the splash and go, I was worried: 'Is it gonna work? ... Is it not gonna work?' But we came in and got out with about an eight-second lead, and I was able to hold it the rest of the way."

15:32 Fujicolor Smart A200 SS1/350 CF8.0

Thirsty de Ferran
Cristiano da Matta

At the airport we ran into Cristiano da Matta. He worked his way up from a 15th place start to finish eleventh on only two pit stops. What do you do while you are on an airplane? "Listen to music when I cannot sleep but I try to sleep. I do not like planes very much."

Saturday | Sunday - Paddock | Sunday - Race

Paul Jasper's Web Site | Racing | Portland 1999

© 1999 Paul Jasper. Last updated Friday May 06, 2005.