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Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Fittipaldi wins Marlboro 500

de Ferran claims CART season points crown

October 31, 2000

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— In a champ car racing version of "Survivor," Christian Fittipaldi and Gil de Ferran were still going at the finish and earned $1 million each.

Fittipaldi won the Marlboro 500 on Monday in a race delayed by rain, and de Ferran finished third to capture the closest points race in CART history.

The two were among only six drivers still running at the end, after blown engines and other mechanical attrition decimated the field of 23 cars that took the green flag.

Three cars driven by Oriol Servia, Helio Castroneves and Alex Tagliani slammed into the wall at different times. Servia and Castroneves apparently were not seriously hurt, but doctors said Tagiliani may have a fractured vertebrae. The race resumed Monday after rain halted it after 33 laps Sunday.

Fittipaldi earned $1 million in winning for just the second time since beginning his CART career in 1995. He was assured the win when Tagliani went into the wall two laps from the finish, prompting a yellow flag.

Roberto Moreno was second, giving Brazilians a 1-2-3 finish. Fittipaldi averaged 224.599 mph in his Ford Lola. Casey Mears, son of Roger Mears and nephew of four-time Indy 500 champion Rick Mears, finished fourth in his CART debut.

De Ferran finished with 168 points, eight ahead of Fernandez, to win the $1 million Vanderbilt Cup as season champion.

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