2001 Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200

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Coordinates: 45°35′49″N 122°41′45″W / 45.59694°N 122.69583°W / 45.59694; -122.69583

United States 2001 G.I. Joe's 200
Race details
Race 8 of 21 in the 2001 CART season
Portland international raceway.svg
Map of the track
DateJune 24, 2001
Official nameFreightliner/G.I. Joe's 200
LocationPortland International Raceway, Portland, USA
CoursePermanent Road Course
1.967 mi / 3.17 km
Distance76 laps
149.492 mi / 240.92 km
Pole position
DriverItaly Max Papis (Team Rahal)
Time57.785 [1]
Fastest lap
DriverItaly Max Papis (Team Rahal)
Time1:12.611 [2] (on lap 74 of 76)
FirstItaly Max Papis (Team Rahal)
SecondBrazil Roberto Moreno (Patrick Racing)
ThirdBrazil Christian Fittipaldi (Newman-Haas Racing)

The 2001 Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 was a Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) motor race held on June 24, 2001, at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon, USA. It was the 8th round of the 2001 CART season. The race was won from the pole in severe wet conditions by Max Papis for Team Rahal. Roberto Moreno finished second, and Christian Fittipaldi clinched third.

It was Papis' second career CART win and his first of the 2001 season. It was also his second career pole in the series, as well as his last. For Moreno, it was his second consecutive runner-up at Portland and his second consecutive podium that season after finishing third at Detroit. It would also be Fittipaldi's only podium finish that season.

The race was marred by heavy rain the night before the race, which created a wet track with multiple areas of standing water. This proved to be a challenge to many drivers, with the majority of them spinning at least once during the race, resulting in multiple caution periods in the first half of the race. Originally scheduled for 98 laps, the race reached the two-hour time limit after 76 laps.



Coming into Portland after a dominant race in Detroit, Team Penske was the favorite to control Round 8 of the 2001 season. In particular, Gil de Ferran, defending series champion and two-time defending Portland winner, was tipped to be a strong contender and perhaps even take his first win of the season.[3] His teammate Hélio Castroneves on the other hand, having climbed the fence in Detroit after his latest victory, was also considered to be in the hunt for the win.[3]

Going into the race, Castroneves had closed the gap to points leader Kenny Bräck in the standings, and the margin between first and second was only five points. Meanwhile, Michael Andretti had put together a streak of top-six finishes in the last four races to put himself in third in the standings.[3] Defending champion de Ferran was sitting in a cool fifth place in the standings. Meanwhile, "Super Sub" Memo Gidley was called up to replace Nicolas Minassian in the Chip Ganassi #12 car for the rest of the season after Minassian was released by the team.[4] Gidley had previously raced for both Forsythe Racing and Della Penna Motorsports during the 2000 CART season.

Practice and Qualifying[edit]

Practice 1 saw Kenny Bräck top the time sheets with a 58.606. Castroneves and Cristiano da Matta were the only other two drivers that session that broke into the fifty-eight second range.[5] Other drivers, including Bräck, also used the first session to record times in their backup cars; notably, Bräck was five seconds off his session time in the backup car, whereas Alex Zanardi was able to improve his time in his backup car.

Castroneves improved on his time in previous session and led the field in Practice 2 with a time of 58.318, followed by fellow Brazilians Christian Fittipaldi and Maurício Gugelmin.[6] This time, a total of ten drivers were able to break into the fifty-eight second range.

In the third practice session, Castroneves again led the rest of the drivers and improved his time to record a lap of 58.073, with Max Papis and da Matta closely behind.[7] At the end of the day, the field was relatively bunched together, as nineteen drivers were able to break into the fifty-eight second range.

In qualifying, Castroneves could not convert his practice pace into a pole-winning lap, and instead Papis recorded a time of 57.785 to earn his second and final pole position in his CART career.[8] Da Matta slotted into second behind him, with Castroneves having to settle for third. Notably, rookie Scott Dixon was able to put his backup car in fourth place despite only running mid-field in each practice session. Dario Franchitti rounded out the top 5. Defending race winner de Ferran could only muster 15th place, less than a second behind the leader.

On the other hand, qualifying proved to be a disaster for points leader Kenny Bräck, as an exhaust system failure ignited his car and brought out the red flag to stop the session.[9] As a result, he was given an eight-minute penalty by CART officials and could only run four laps in the backup car. When qualifying ended, Bräck only qualified 22nd out of 26 while his teammate took the pole.


On raceday, rain had soaked the track for the first time since the CART teams arrived in Portland, meaning that drivers and teams alike could not rely on their practice and qualifying setups during the race itself. To make matters more difficult, the rain had continued as a light drizzle all throughout the morning warm-up and heading into the race, and CART officials decided that it was light enough to continue with the event. Portland International Raceway was already notorious for its first-turn chicane and difficulty to overtake; now drivers had to contend with a wet racetrack that nobody had practiced on all weekend.

On the pace lap, de Ferran became the first of what would ultimately be many drivers to spin off-course during the race. Going through Turn 7, de Ferran lost traction and slid into the grass, damaging his front wing and forcing him to make a pit stop.

When the green flag waved, the field was engulfed in a cloud of spray as the cars accelerated to race speed. Going into the first turn, the cars of Michael Andretti and Kenny Bräck were spun around, but they continued with no damage. Meanwhile, as the field sped down the back straightaway, Tony Kanaan went off-course at Turn 8. As he rejoined the track, he veered into the path of Memo Gidley, clipping his right rear tire and spinning him into the path of Alex Zanardi, who passing was Kanaan on the left. Zanardi and Gidley careened into the barriers, but both drivers walked away unharmed. Kanaan, meanwhile, had suffered major suspension damage, but he was able to limp back to the pits and officially retire the car.

Under the caution flag, going into Turn 7, Helio Castroneves slid off the track and nudged into the tire barriers. He was eventually restarted, but the incident put him a lap down. When the race restarted on Lap 6, the field circulated through Turn 1 cleanly with the exception of Tora Takagi and Shinji Nakano, who both spun and stalled their cars on the track. The yellow flag waved once again as both cars were restarted. After a brief caution period, the field went back to green on Lap 8. Cristiano da Matta and Max Wilson both ran wide going into the first corner, forcing them to cut the chicane. Michael Andretti also spun in Turn 1, but kept the car running. Finally, the race was stopped again when Adrian Fernández spun out later on-course and stalled the car.

Under the third caution, da Matta had too much speed going into Turn 8 and bumped the back of Papis' car, spinning himself around and stalling the car. After three caution laps, the race was again restarted on Lap 13, only to be stopped again when Bryan Herta was spun out by Wilson and stalled the car. At the same time, Alex Tagliani ran off course and punctured his right rear tire but kept the car running. After a single caution lap, the field continued under the green flag. The 15th lap of the race was the first to be incident-free, and after four cautions twelve of the twenty-six starters had spun off-track. By this time, Paul Tracy had muscled his way from 13th to 2nd and was catching up to Papis in the lead. However, after only four laps, the caution came again when Takagi spun and stalled his car a second time.

Under this fifth caution, Tracy used the opportunity to psychologically intimidate Papis by pulling alongside and tailgating him for several laps. However, Papis was able to pull away when the green flag came out again on Lap 24, but the field again only made it through a few corners before Michel Jourdain, Jr. spun off course coming out of Turn 1, forcing a sixth caution. When the green came out again after one lap, Andretti was given a drive-though penalty for passing under yellow. Again Papis pulled away from the field and mounted a sizeable gap between him and Tracy in 2nd.

After several laps of green-flag running, the caution flag waved again on Lap 33 when Adrian Fernández spun off-course. The field used this opportunity to make their one and only pit stop during the race, and Papis again capitalized by leaving the pits first. At the same time, however, Paul Tracy slammed into the side of Bruno Junqueira as he left his pit box, ending Junqueira's race and damaging Tracy's suspension. Roberto Moreno took advantage of the situation and jumped both Tracy and Franchitti in the pits. Christian Fittipaldi inherited the lead by virtue of not pitting under the caution, followed by da Matta, who was now on the same strategy, and Papis in third.

When the race restarted on Lap 36, Franchitti ran into the back of Bryan Herta and spun going into Turn 1, forcing Herta and Moreno to cut the chicane. However, as Franchitti continued the race remained under green. On the same lap, Bräck and de Ferran spun in separate corners, but both were able to continue. Just a few laps later, on Lap 40, Shinji Nakano spun once again, but this time he suffered suspension damage that ended his race and brought out another caution. Fittipaldi and da Matta used this time to pit, handing the lead back to Papis.

The green flag waved again on Lap 44, but once again both Tagliani and Jourdain, Jr. spun at the same corner. As the race stayed green, Paul Tracy spun coming onto the back straightaway and clipped Maurício Gugelmin, ending both of their races and bringing out the caution for what would be the 9th and final time. After three laps of caution, the green waved again and Papis took off from the rest of the field. Moreno and Wilson diced for 2nd position over the course of several laps as the rain briefly stopped before picking up again. Meanwhile, Fittipaldi began to climb up the order after restarting in 7th place. As the stretch of green-flag racing continued, the drivers who pitted on Lap 33 were told to conserve fuel to make it to the end of the race. This played into Fittipaldi's hands, as he had pitted on Lap 40 and had more than enough fuel to last the race distance.

As the race continued, race control officially declared a timed race on Lap 68, meaning that the race would only go 76 of the designated 98 laps before two hours had elapsed. By this point Fittipaldi had passed Patrick Carpentier for 4th, and was beginning to go after Wilson for a spot on the podium. With just eight minutes to go in the race, Fittipaldi cruised past Wilson going into Turn 1 and began closing on the leaders. However, after 76 laps and two hours since the drop of the green flag, Papis and Moreno were able to hold him off and take the checkered flag.


June 23, 2001 - Qualifying Speeds
Rank Driver Time Leader Speed (mph) Team
1 Italy Max Papis 57.785 122.669 Team Rahal
2 Brazil Cristiano da Matta 57.866 +0.081 122.497 Newman-Haas Racing
3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves 57.944 +0.159 122.332 Team Penske
4 New Zealand Scott Dixon (R) 57.962 +0.177 122.294 PacWest Racing
5 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti 58.057 +0.272 122.094 Team Green
6 Brazil Bruno Junqueira (R) 58.061 +0.276 122.085 Chip Ganassi Racing
7 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 58.112 +0.327 121.978 Newman-Haas Racing
8 Brazil Roberto Moreno 58.197 +0.412 121.800 Patrick Racing
9 United States Jimmy Vasser 58.221 +0.436 121.750 Patrick Racing
10 Canada Patrick Carpentier 58.231 +0.446 121.729 Forsythe Racing
11 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin 58.430 +0.645 121.314 PacWest Racing
12 United States Bryan Herta 58.432 +0.647 121.310 PacWest Racing
13 Canada Paul Tracy 58.443 +0.658 121.287 Team Green
14 Spain Oriol Servià 58.499 +0.714 121.171 Sigma Autosport
15 Brazil Gil de Ferran 58.534 +0.749 121.099 Team Penske
16 United States Michael Andretti 58.572 +0.787 121.020 Team Motorola
17 Japan Tora Takagi (R) 58.600 +0.815 120.962 Walker Racing
18 Japan Shinji Nakano 58.601 +0.816 120.960 Fernandez Racing
19 Brazil Max Wilson (R) 58.636 +0.851 120.888 Arciero Racing
20 Canada Alex Tagliani 58.662 +0.877 120.835 Forsythe Racing
21 Brazil Tony Kanaan 58.697 +0.912 120.763 Mo Nunn Racing
22 Sweden Kenny Bräck 58.759 +0.974 120.635 Team Rahal
23 Mexico Adrian Fernández 58.826 +1.041 120.498 Fernandez Racing
24 Mexico Michel Jourdain, Jr. 58.938 +1.153 120.269 Bettenhausen Racing
25 United States Memo Gidley 59.073 +1.288 119.994 Chip Ganassi Racing
26 Italy Alex Zanardi 59.213 +1.428 119.710 Mo Nunn Racing


Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/retired Grid Points
1 8 Italy Max Papis Team Rahal 76 2:00:20.836 1 221
2 20 Brazil Roberto Moreno Patrick Racing 76 1.472 secs 8 16
3 11 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi Newman-Haas Racing 76 3.612 secs 7 14
4 25 Brazil Max Wilson (R) Arciero Racing 76 11.476 secs 19 12
5 32 Canada Patrick Carpentier Forsythe Racing 76 12.039 secs 10 10
6 27 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Team Green 76 12.571 secs 5 8
7 18 New Zealand Scott Dixon (R) PacWest Racing 76 13.141 secs 4 6
8 39 United States Michael Andretti Team Motorola 76 13.840 secs 16 5
9 22 Spain Oriol Servià Sigma Autosport 76 19.176 secs 14 4
10 6 Brazil Cristiano da Matta Newman-Haas Racing 76 19.618 secs 2 3
11 8 Sweden Kenny Bräck Team Rahal 76 19.731 secs 22 2
12 33 Canada Alex Tagliani Forsythe Racing 76 20.531 secs 20 1
13 1 Brazil Gil de Ferran Team Penske 76 22.985 secs 15
14 77 United States Bryan Herta Forsythe Racing 76 33.189 secs 12
15 16 MexicoMichel Jourdain, Jr. Bettenhausen Racing 76 36.710 secs 24
16 40 United States Jimmy Vasser Patrick Racing 76 47.645 secs 9
17 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske 75 1 Lap 3
18 5 Japan Tora Takagi (R) Walker Racing 72 4 Laps 17
19 51 Mexico Adrian Fernández Fernandez Racing 72 4 Laps 23
20 17 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin PacWest Racing 43 Contact 11
21 26 Canada Paul Tracy Team Green 42 Contact 13
22 52 Japan Shinji Nakano Fernandez Racing 38 Contact 18
23 4 Brazil Bruno Junqueira (R) Chip Ganassi Racing 34 Contact 6
24 55 Brazil Tony Kanaan Mo Nunn Racing 1 Contact 21
25 12 United States Memo Gidley Chip Ganassi Racing 0 Contact 25
26 66 Italy Alex Zanardi Mo Nunn Racing 0 Contact 26
  • 1– Includes two bonus points for leading the most laps and being the fastest qualifier.[11]

Race statistics[edit]

  • Lead changes: 2 amongst 2 drivers

Standings after the race[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2001 CART Portland Qualifying Results". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 23, 2001. Archived from the original on December 15, 2001. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  2. ^ "2001 CART Portland Best Laps". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 26, 2001. Archived from the original on December 15, 2001. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "CART Portland Preview". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 19, 2001. Archived from the original on August 16, 2001. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "GIDLEY TO REPLACE MINASSIAN AT PORTLAND". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 20, 2001. Archived from the original on June 27, 2001. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "2001 Portland Practice 1 Results". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 21, 2001. Archived from the original on May 7, 2003. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  6. ^ "2001 Portland Practice 2 Results". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 21, 2001. Archived from the original on May 7, 2003. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "2001 Portland Practice 3 Results". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 22, 2001. Archived from the original on May 7, 2003. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  8. ^ "2001 Portland Qualifying Summary". Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 23, 2001. Archived from the original on November 22, 2001. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  9. ^ Robin Miller (June 23, 2001). "Portland Saturday Notebook". Championship Auto Racing Teams. Archived from the original on March 28, 2002. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  10. ^ "Results: 2001 Freightliner/G.I. Joes 200". Championship Auto Racing Teams. Archived from the original on May 7, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  11. ^ Championship Auto Racing Teams (March 2001). "CART FedEx Championship Series - 2001 Rule Book". Archived from the original on 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2017-05-22.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ a b c "2001 CART Portland Provisional Race Report" (PDF). Championship Auto Racing Teams. June 24, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 19, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  13. ^ "2001 CART Portland Race Results". racing-reference.info. Retrieved July 28, 2015.

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2001 Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit
CART Indycar World Series
2001 season
Next race:
2001 Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland
Previous race:
2000 Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200
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2002 G.I. Joe's 200