2001 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey

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United States   2001 Grand Prix of Monterey
Race details
Race 19 of 21 in the 2001 CART season
Map of the track
Map of the track
Date October 14, 2001
Official name Honda Grand Prix of Monterey
Location Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California, United States
Course Permanent racing facility
2.238 mi / 3.602 km
Distance 76 laps, 170.088 mi / 273.730 km
Scheduled Distance 83 laps, 185.754 mi / 298.942 km
Pole position
Driver Brazil Gil de Ferran Penske Racing
Time 1:08.596
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing
Time 1:11.500 (on lap 47 of 76)
Podium
First Italy Max Papis Team Rahal
Second United States Memo Gidley Chip Ganassi Racing
Third Brazil Gil de Ferran Penske Racing

The 2001 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey was a CART motor race held on October 14, 2001 at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, United States. It was the 19th round of the 2001 CART season.

Qualifying[edit]

Brazilian driver Gil de Ferran set the pole, fellow Brazilian and his teammate Helio Castroneves, from Penske Racing, started alongside him at the first row.

Race[edit]

At the start, the American driver Michael Andretti, from Team Motorola had a contact with the Swedish driver Kenny Brack, from Team Rahal. Some metres later, Brack collided with the Brazilian driver Mauricio Gugelmin, from PacWest Racing, and suffered a tire problem. Some laps later, five laps behind, Kenny would retire.

At lap 2, the first caution came out as the Forsythe Racing Canadian drivers Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier collided into each other. Patrick retired. The top 5 after 3 laps was: Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, New Zealand driver Scott Dixon, from PacWest Racing, the Brazilian Tony Kanaan, from Mo Nunn Racing, and Canadian driver Paul Tracy from Team Green.

Then, at lap 7, the Chip Ganassi Racing pit was on fire. Two mechanics suffered slight burns, but they continued in the race. The restart came at lap 8. The 2nd caution happened at lap 11, as the American Forsythe Racing driver Bryan Herta spun his countryman Casey Mears from Mo Nunn Racing. The Brazilian driver Max Wilson from Arciero Racing was also involved. Wilson retired.

The restart came out at lap 15. The 3rd caution happened at lap 18, as the Brazilian Roberto Moreno, from Patrick Racing, had hit the wall. Then, the Bettenhausen Racing driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., from Mexico, also hit the wall. Both retired.

The restart came out at lap 24. Then, the former Formula One Japanese driver Shinji Nakano, from Fernández Racing retired due to mechanical problems, at lap 43. The fourth caution was out.

After 43 laps, this was the top 6: Castroneves, Dixon, de Ferran, Tora Takagi, Christian Fittipaldi and Tracy. After 44 laps, de Ferran led most laps at that time: 36. The restart came out at lap 46. Two laps later, Tagliani overtook the Scottish driver Dario Franchitti, from Team Green at The Corkscrew. Tagliani pushed Franchitti too much in the gravel, but Franchitti was still in the race.

At lap 49, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Memo Gidley, from United States hit Michael Andretti, causing a fifth caution. The top 6 after some pit stops were Adrian Fernandez, Max Papis, Memo Gidley -- these drivers didn't make their pit stops -- and de Ferran, Dixon and Jimmy Vasser.

During the pit exit, Castroneves hit Paul Tracy. The Canadian spun. The restart came out at lap 53. At this lap, Franchitti hit the Brazilian Newman-Haas Racing driver Cristiano da Matta at Turn 2. 6th caution. Da Matta retired. Paul Tracy went to the pits just to do a burnout in Castroneves' pit.

The restart came out at lap 57. At lap 62, Fernandez pitted and lost his lead to Max Papis. Then, the 7th caution happened, as Dario Franchitti suffered brake problems and hit the wall. At the same moment, Paul Tracy had a suspension problem, due the incident with Castroneves at the pits.

The restart came out at lap 65. At lap 66, Sigma Autosport Spaniard Oriol Servià went airborne, after hit Mauricio Gugelmin from behind. Both drivers retired. Servia's car did a frontflip. Servià suffered slight neck pains, but he was ok. The restart came out at lap 68 with 5:50 minutes to go. Max Papis won the race. It was the third win in CART for the Italian. It was the sixth Team Rahal win in that season. Memo Gidley finished second, with Gil de Ferran third.