Super-Sub now Superman
by Mark Cipolloni


1st Roberto Moreno

2nd Kenny Brack  3rd
Cristiano da Matta

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Kenny Brack and Cristiano Da Matta hold race winner Roberto Moreno aloft in winners circle
(Click on any photo to see enlargement)

CLEVELAND (July 2, 2000) - Roberto Moreno, formerly know as Super-Sub is now the new Superman of the CART FedEx series.  The 41-year Brazilian driver led from pole position virtually the entire way to win the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland before an enthusiastic near sellout crowd of 60,000.  Moreno, in notching his first win since 1988 in the Birmingham, England F3000 race, forever shed the image of a guy who almost-won a big race.  

He led 91 of the 100 laps on Burke Lakefront Airport's wide, bumpy, 2.106-mile, 10-turn road course. 

"That's what happens when they give you a good race car," Moreno said after his tears subsided. "It's the same setup we had yesterday. We did a little fine-tuning. ... This has been great for me. I even got my green card in America this year." 

As he drove his Ford-powered Reynard slowly around the course after beating runner-up Kenny Brack to the finish line by 0.826-seconds, Moreno started shouting and yelling. 

When he reached turn one,  Moreno spun the car in a doughnut reminiscent of the on-track celebrations of two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi - with black smoke boiling from the tires.   Only this time it was because he was teary-eyed and missed the turn, a replacement for the donut-man Zanardi he is not.

Roberto Moreno stays focused just before the start

When the 41-year-old Moreno -- the oldest driver in the series -- finally scrambled from his car, he raised his right thumb and pumped his right arm in a blur, then turned and leaped into the arms of a crowd of Patrick crewmen. 

In th4 post-race press conference Moreno said - "It's almost as good as when my daughters were born."  "It's a feeling I cannot describe. It's fantastic." 

Moreno stood on the victory podium with a Brazilian flag draped on his shoulders and even sang a bit of the country's national anthem -- off key -- when a recording of the Brazilian National Anthem could not be found. 

Kenny Brack's 2nd place was his best CART finish to date, and it came on a road course which says wonders about Kenny's driving ability.
(Click on any photo to see enlargement)

Brack, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and a CART rookie, was behind Moreno on the last restart on lap 81, but never got a serious run at Moreno.  "I managed to catch up with him a little bit," said Brack, who had to conserve fuel to the end. "I could get close but couldn't get close enough to get by." 

Cristiano da Matta finished third, followed by Michael Andretti, Patrick Carpentier and defending series champion Juan Montoya. 

Moreno, swept the maximum 22 points -- one for the pole, 20 for the win and one for leading the most race laps. He now leads Andretti 90-68 after 9 of 20 races. Gil de Ferran, who failed to score points after dropping out with a brake problem, fell to third with 67. 

"Roberto is young at heart," said Andretti, a former series champion who is 37. "It doesn't surprise me that he won. He's been the most underrated driver out there for a long time." 

As usual, the first turn at Cleveland took its toll.  The long, wide straightaway leads into the tight first turn,  a right-hander that brings you back about 140 degrees in the opposite direction. The wide straight funnels into a narrower stretch on the turn, and with 25 cars trying to take the shortest way around, not all come out of the funnel-effect that results

Third place finisher climbs aboard his Reynard Toyota prior to the start.

Sunday's running of the Cleveland Grand Prix was no different.  Five cars were eventually sidelined by a multi-car accident on the first lap, and several others escaping with minor damage of some sort. 

A big crowd showed up for the race that was supposed to be converted to a CART rival IRL race after last year. But at the insistence of the Cleveland mayor, CART and promoter IMG were able to overcome financial hurdles and wound up putting on the CART Cleveland GP the 19th consecutive year. 

While Team Player's drivers Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier both managed to shave more than a half-second off their times of the previous day, they were able to make only modest improvements to their position on the starting grid for Sunday's Grand Prix of Cleveland.  Tagliani covered the 2.1-mile Burke Lakefront Airport road course in a fast lap of 58.644 seconds to take the outside of Row 9 on the grid for Round 9 of the series, while his teammate is right behind him, on the inside of Row 10.  As was the case in Friday's session, Carpentier found the car tough to handle because of a lack of mechanical grip in the corners. "The Ford engine is 10 miles an hour faster on the straights but I'm one second slower than last year," he noted. "It's going to be a long night for Team Player's as it readies the car for tomorrow's race."

Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier came from well back in the field to finish fifth at today's Grand Prix of Cleveland, his fourth top-5 result of the FedEx CART Championship season.  Carpentier moved up 14 positions from his spot on the starting grid through a combination of his racing savvy, some superb passing maneuvers and driver attrition. Some of the attrition occurred in the first corner of the first lap, when separate incidents resulted in four retirements.  Carpentier, who has finished in the top-10 in all but one of the six races in which he has competed this season, collected 10 points for today's fifth-place finish, boosting him into 10th place in the drivers' standings. He is within 12 points of fifth place. 

Tagliani, who put in a gritty performance, also made considerable gains from his 18th position on the starting grid. With 35 laps remaining, he had climbed into sixth place and was looking at a top-5 finish when the gearbox went without any warning.

Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy both retired early with gearbox problems in today’s running of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Roberto Moreno led 91 of 100 laps in a dominating victory from the pole, which was the first of his career. Kenny Brack closed the margin of victory to 0.826 seconds with Cristiano da Matta third. 

Similar to the last race in Portland, there was another first corner incident on the opening lap. Several cars were sent spinning by contact, including Franchitti’s #27 KOOL car. Franchitti managed to keep the car running and fought his way back into contention despite dropping from fourth on the grid to 16th after the incident. Tracy, meanwhile, was able to tip-toe through the accident which took four cars from the race. Incredibly, he moved from 17th on the grid to sixth after the first lap. 

Tracy and Franchitti then settled in and began to move forward through the field. Tracy had climbed to as high as second on the 34th lap before making his first stop for fuel and tires. He returned in sixth position, but retired on lap 41 with a broken gearbox. Franchitti was running 11th before the first round of pit stops, but by his second stop on lap 67 he was in third. He lost the position to Michael Andretti in the pit lane, but took it back by passing Andretti in Turn 3 on lap 81. Unfortunately, Franchitti started to experience gearbox problems with eight laps remaining and pulled off course with 94 laps completed. 

Bryan Herta brought the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard home in ninth place in today’s Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland and the Burke Lakefront Airport temporary road course. Herta, subbing for the second weekend in a row for the injured Tony Kanaan, started seventh but immediately dropped to the back of the pack after damaging his front wing in the midst of a massive pileup in the very first turn of the race. (Note: CART officials, for the first time ever today, narrowed the course with cones at Turn 1 for only the first turn of the first lap in an effort to prevent cars from going through six- and seven-wide.) After pitting to replace the wing, he emerged in 19th place, from where he methodically worked his way into the lead by Lap 42 of 100. He pitted for fuel and tires on Lap 43, and required extra time to make a rear wing adjustment. That dropped him back to 16th. He mounted a charge toward the front once again and finished the day in ninth place. 


ROBERTO MORENO -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Finished 1st - "Fantastic. Fantastic. It's just a feeling I cannot describe. Almost as good as when my daughters were born. Fantastic. 1988 was the last time that I raced competitive like this, in Formula 3000. Thank you very much to the Visteon people. It's fantastic to be part of this great team. We're growing together, and pretty soon I'll be 100% for them."

"That's what happens when they give you a good race car. The Visteon crew was fantastic today. The setup we did in qualifying yesterday did the work. We kept the same. We did a little fine-tuning and that's all we did today. I have a mile long full of people to thank for getting here for the first time since 1988 when it was the last time I had such a competitive car to race and in such good condition. I'm just over the moon with this situation. It's great to be here. It's been just a great year for me. I even got my green card in America this year."

KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Finished 2nd - "Yeah. (THE TEAM) got me short of fuel. I was kind of mad at them for a while, I was trying to keep people behind me, and they wouldn't let me have any fuel, so it was hard to do. In the end, we had enough fuel to give Roberto a bit of a go, but it wasn't enough. He did a great job. I'm happy for (MORENO), for me and for Firestone, Ford and everybody at Team Rahal."

"When I wasn't watching the front of the nose, I was watching behind my wing. But it stayed pretty stationary for the last few laps. I don't think anyone was able to do anything. We were sort of going the same speeds."

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "For the second week in a row, the first lap melee really hurt us - basically costing us any chance at victory with Cristiano (da Matta) and Juan (Montoya) falling way back. On the other hand, Cristiano (da Matta) ran an absolutely tremendous race. He was hit twice on the first turn and fell all the way back to 17th and still came back for his first podium. I think everyone can see that he's going to win this season. Right now, it's just a matter of time. I'd also like to congratulate Norberto Fontana for picking up his first CART points with a strong run." 

Cristiano da Matta, #97 Pioneer Electronics/MCI WorldCom Toyota: "It was a very eventful race. I basically fell to almost last. When that happened, I couldn't believe it and I was very, very mad, but they were telling me on the radio to relax because we had 99 laps left. The Toyota engine ran very well today. It was very fast and consistent all day. I'm happy with a third because it's my best finish ever, but in the big picture I think we could have done better." 

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Finished 4th - "We had an oil pump problem this morning and had to rush to change the engine for the race. The guys in the pits knew I was losing power about eight or nine laps to go. The (exhaust) header went and caused the engine to lose power and was not handling well. I didn't know what the problem was until the told me. I was lucky as it ended up. At least the car worked long enough to finish the race. It was close though. At the start, Mo (Gugelmin) drove right into me. Brack did the same thing on the last restart and pushed me off onto the grass. I would have given him more room. I had no traction and it allowed Dario and (Cristiano) da Matta to get by.   ON MORENO'S VICTORY - "Roberto is young at heart. You wouldn't think he is 41. It doesn't surprise me that he won. He drove a good race and has for most of the season. He is the most consistent guy right now and that's how you win championships. Right now we're only 22 points out of first place and this is much better than where we would have been if we did not make it to the checkered flag."

PATRICK CARPENTIER -32- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Finished 5th - "The car was much better in the race (THAN IT HAD BEEN DURING QUALIFYING). The guys did perfect pit stops. We made a lot of mistakes this weekend, but there were no mistakes during the race and that's when it counts. The Ford engine, the tires and the chassis, everything worked great and I'm very happy." 

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Finished 7th - "It was an up and down day. I made a very good start and stayed there, but then I made a mistake in one of the corners. From there on it was just a matter of recovering and trying to do fast laps and saving fuel, which was key for us. Then we had a problem on the pitstop when my clutch slipped when I was in gear and we lost seven, eight seconds there, so then we had to catch up again. But in all it was a good result for the team."

ALEX TAGLIANI -33- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Finished 16th - "We had a pretty good day. We struggled during the weekend with the setup, but it was pretty good during the race. Most of the time we were short-shifting and trying to save a lot of fuel. The car was fast enough that at the end I would have been able to fight with da Matta because I was ahead of him and got passed by him because of a fight with Dario (FRANCHITTI) and I got on the marbles and da Matta passed me. I think we had a good run for a podium finish but we had a gearbox problem."

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Finished 18th - "The start was ridiculous. I'm not for those cones in the middle of the track. It just makes it tighter into turn one. I went to the outside of the track, on the grass to miss everyone and our bad luck hit us again. I hit a manhole cover in the grass trying to get back on the track. And the front wing and brake duct were broken. I had to pit to replace the front wing. But the missing brake duct caused the car to be loose. The brakes were bad then. It was tough to drive. We were able to fix the problem, on the next pitstop but the half shaft broke. That's probably because I was using the gearbox to slow me down entering the corners. It just wasn't our day, but I'm happy for Kenny."

Tarso Marques walks disgusted back to the pits following the first turn accident that claimed several cars
(Click on any photo to see enlargement)

TARSO MARQUEZ -34- Panasonic Ford-Cosworth - Finished 24th - "I think (TAKUYA) Kurosawa pushed me during the start, bent the front suspension and the front wing and spun me and a few other guys."  ON THE USE OF CONES DURING THE START - "All the drivers asked (CART) to leave it as it was without the cones. No one wanted them out there, and the result was this."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, # 6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth Lola "We had an oil pump problem this morning and had to rush to change the engine for the race. The guys in the pits knew I was losing power about eight or nine laps to go. The (exhaust) header went and caused the engine to lose power and was not handling well. I didn't know what the problem was until the told me. I was lucky as it ended up. At least the car worked long enough to finish the race. It was close though. At the start, Mo (Gugelmin) drove right into me. Brack did the same thing on the last restart and pushed me off onto the grass. I would have given him more room. I had no traction and it allowed Dario and (Cristiano) da Matta to get by.   (On Moreno's victory:) "Roberto is young at heart. You wouldn't think he is 41. It doesn't surprise me that he won. He drove a good race and has most of the season. He is the most consistent guy right now and that's how you win championships. Right now the Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline team is only 22 points out of first place and that is much better than where we would have 
been if we did not make it to the checkered flag." 

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth Lola   "Both cars had an oil pump problem this morning so we started the race with new engines that hadn't even ran a lap. At one point in the race, it looked like Newman/Haas was going to have two cars on the podium and be looking good for the Championship points but that was ultimately not the case. It was a different problem than this morning but we aren't totally sure what it was 
but it was a top-end failure. I knew it was going to break because I heard the valves vibrating about two laps before it went. It started to lose power and then it went. Considering where we qualified - which was a nightmare - we were running strong and got up to third place. On some stages of the track, we were quicker than Michael was but we were trying to save fuel. It's a huge disappointment because of the amount of points we were capable of toward the Championship. We lost a lot of ground today." 

PATRICK CARPENTIER  "It was quite a ride from 19th on the grid to another top-5 finish," remarked Carpentier. "The Team Player's crew put a lot of time and effort into coming up with a solution to the problems we had been experiencing most of the weekend. Alex's team found a good set-up during the morning warm-up and we used it for the race. The car was running great. We had finally found the grip we were looking for all weekend long and we made no mistakes during the race."

ALEX TAGLIANI  "It's too bad because I think we had the car for at least a top-5, maybe even a podium," said Tagliani, who is third in the CART rookie standings with 26 points. "Overall, Team Player's had a pretty good day after struggling with set-ups this weekend. The car was fast enough during the race and I was able to keep up with the leaders."

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:   “The start was a big mess. As cars started bouncing off each other, I worked my way through the accident. Then I got a good run off the corner and I was able to pick up 11 positions. I was really happy after that. We were getting great fuel mileage and I started thinking about finishing first or second. Unfortunately, the gearbox went away and I parked the KOOL car.” 

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:   “Certainly the start didn’t help didn’t help us. We got run into from behind. Unfortunately, that can often happen at this race track. After that, I think we had a great race strategy going. We were on a two-stop strategy, which some teams did and some teams didn’t. The car was very good. We only made one adjustment and that was on the first stop. We were looking at a podium finish up until we had the gearbox problem. This is a really tough track with a lot of bumps that really jar the car around. Team KOOL Green doesn’t usually have to worry about reliability and you make your own luck. We’re going to have to look at the gearbox and make sure it doesn’t happen again.” 

BRYAN HERTA   “I’ve got to say right off the bat that it’s tough sitting on your you-know-what for six weeks and come back to race two tough races like that back-to-back. But I’ve also got to say that I’m reasonably happy
with the progress we made in all of six days in the car. We brought the car home in once piece today, although it looked for a moment that that wasn’t going to be the case on that first turn. There was a lot going on there. I don’t understand why they coned off the first turn like that. There was a lot going on there. Cars were all over the place, 
all bunched up and basically falling all over each other. They made things worse with the cones. Before, there was a lot of room to get through and it made for some very creative passing at the start of the race. I don’t think it was a good idea, and we paid a price for it. So did a lot of other guys who were damaged or fell completely out of the race right then and there.” 

Norberto Fontana: “I’m very happy to finish the race. The DIRECTV car was running well at the beginning of the race, but in the end I couldn’t really push because the car became unbalanced. Overall though, I’m happy to have 
at least scored two points.” 

Dale Coyne driver Takuya Kurosawa was also eliminated in the first turn melee and walks back to the garage area.


· Moreno's victory was the first street-course triumph for a Ford-powered driver since Scott Pruett won at Australia in 1997. Honda-powered drivers entered Sunday's event with 16 consecutive street-course victories dating to the start of the 1998 season. 

· Moreno's victory extended Ford's lead in the Manufacturer's Championship to 158-138 over Honda, while also extending Brazil's Nation's Cup lead to 156-116 over the United States. 

· Kenny Brack's (Shell Ford Reynard) runner-up effort extended a run of five top-six finishes in the past six events. Also included are finishes of fifth at Japan, third at Nazareth, fourth at Milwaukee and sixth at Portland.

· Cristiano da Matta (Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Toyota Reynard) recorded his fourth top-five finish of the season, including fourths at Rio de Janeiro and Japan and fifth at Portland.

· Fourth-place Michael Andretti (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola) has finished fourth or better in seven of 15 starts at Cleveland, including a victory in 1991, seconds in 1986, '92 and '98 and thirds in 1984 and last year.

· By leading Laps 34 and 35, Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard) has now led at least one lap in five of his six career appearances at Cleveland, including 67 in 1995, 34 in '96, 49 in '97 and nine last year. 

· Rookie Norberto Fontana (Della Penna Motorsports Toyota Reynard) earned his first career FedEx Championship Series points by finishing 11th. Fontana's previous best result in the first six starts of his rookie campaign was 14th at Detroit.

· Patrick Carpentier (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Ford Reynard) won the Budweiser Hard Charger Award for showing the greatest improvement, start to finish, of any driver in the 25-car field. Carpentier started 19th and finished fifth.

- Cristiano da Matta's third-place podium finish today was the first of his Champ Car career after a previous best of fourth on three occasions. Da Matta earned seven victories and 13 podium finishes in 27 Indy Lights starts and the 1998 Indy Lights championship before moving into the FedEx Championship Series last season. 

- After starting fifth, Cristiano da Matta fell to 17th after getting hit twice on the first turn of the race. He then gained 14 spots on the race track. In addition, Juan Montoya fell back to 12th on the same incident and then finished sixth. Montoya climbed as high as second before stopping for a splash of a fuel late in the race. 

- Da Matta's third place was his fourth top-five finish this season. He previously has earned fourth-place finishes at Rio and Motegi, and a fifth last weekend in Portland. 

- Toyota drivers turned the two fastest laps of the race today. Juan Montoya registered the fastest lap on Lap 75, while Cristiano da Matta had the second fastest race lap on Lap 63. Montoya was the only driver over 127 mph during the race. 

- With 14 Manufacturer's points today, Toyota has now earned 132 points in just nine races this season, 52 higher than Toyota's previous best total of 80 set last season. 

- Four of the five Toyota drivers scored FedEx Championship Series points today. Only Oriol Servia was unable to score after his first-lap retirement. Three Toyota drivers now rank in the top eight in points for the first time in history. Jimmy Vasser currently sits in a tie for fifth, while Juan Montoya is seventh and Cristiano da Matta is eighth. 


The Molson Toronto Indy on July 16th in Toronto, Canada. 

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TOP Finishers

Pos Driver Car#     Lap Pits Laps Led Start Grid Status B. Leader
Engine Chassis Time # Lap  
1 Roberto Moreno 20   Ford Reynard 1:00.039 2 67 83 1 RUNNING 0.000
2 Kenny Brack 8   Ford Reynard 0:59.975 2 65 0 15 RUNNING 0.826
3 Cristiano da Matta 97   Toyota Reynard 0:59.745 2 65 0 5 RUNNING 1.977
4 Michael Andretti 6   Ford Lola 1:00.250 2 67 0 4 RUNNING 7.562
5 Patrick Carpentier 32   Ford Reynard 0:59.978 2 66 0 19 RUNNING 8.353
6 Juan Montoya 1   Toyota Lola 0:59.625 3 79 0 6 RUNNING 10.273
7 Adrian Fernandez 40   Ford Reynard 1:00.129 2 65 0 9 RUNNING 19.366
8 Jimmy Vasser 12   Toyota Lola 1:00.367 3 68 6 12 RUNNING 19.751
9 Bryan Herta 55   Mercedes Reynard 1:00.176 3 72 1 7 RUNNING 21.201
10 Mauricio Gugelmin 17   Mercedes Reynard 1:00.389 2 65 0 3 RUNNING 62.507
11 Norberto Fontana 10   Toyota Reynard 1:00.942 2 78 0 22 RUNNING 1LAP
12 Mark Blundell 18   Mercedes Reynard 1:00.273 2 78 0 16 RUNNING 2LAPS
13 Dario Franchitti 27   Honda Reynard 0:59.870 3 94 0 8 MECHANICAL 5LAPS
14 Gil de Ferran 2   Honda Reynard 1:00.101 3 86 2 2 CONTACT 12LAPS
15 Shinji Nakano 5   Honda Reynard 0:59.899 3 70 0 21 MECHANICAL 17LAPS
16 Alexandre Tagliani 33   Ford Reynard 1:00.081 2 65 0 18 MECHANICAL 22LAPS
17 Christian Fittipaldi 11   Ford Lola 1:00.124 1 34 0 13 MECHANICAL 41LAPS
18 Max Papis 7   Ford Reynard 1:00.829 4 44 0 14 MECHANICAL 50LAPS
19 Paul Tracy 26   Honda Reynard 1:00.013 1 35 0 17 MECHANICAL 58LAPS
20 Luiz Garcia Jr. 25   Mercedes Reynard 1:02.187 1 16 0 24 MECHANICAL 81LAPS
21 Helio Castroneves 3   Honda Reynard 1:13.647 1 2 0 10 CONTACT 95LAPS
22 Michel Jourdain Jr. 16   Mercedes Lola 0:00 0 0 0 20 CONTACT 98LAPS
23 Oriol Servia 96   Toyota Reynard 0:00 0 0 0 11 CONTACT 99LAPS
24 Tarso Marques 34   Ford Swift 0:00 0 0 0 23 CONTACT 99LAPS
25 Takuya Kurosawa 19   Ford Lola 0:00 0 0 0 25 CONTACT 99LAPS


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