Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1999 Firestone Firehawk 500K

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Date  March 28, 1999
Weather  Dry
1999 Firestone Firehawk 500K
Official name  1999 Firestone Firehawk 500K
Location  Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Tochigi, Japan
Course  Permanent oval course 1.549 mi / 2.493 km
Distance  201 laps 311.349 mi / 501.093 km

The 1999 Firestone Firehawk 500K was the second round of the 1999 CART FedEx Champ Car World Series season, held on April 9, 1999, on the Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Tochigi, Japan.


There was drama at the start when polesitter Gil de Ferran spun while taking the green flag. As a result, the start was delayed, and de Ferran was able to take back his starting position: pole. He led the early stages but then began to drop back with tyre problems and Maurício Gugelmin took the lead. Gugelmin led comfortably until the first round of stops, when he overshot his pitlane, losing time. He was also given a black flag for running over pit material, which put him a lap down and out of contention. Adrián Fernández took the lead and led comfortably until Juan Pablo Montoya closed right up to him. Fernández held him off, and Montoya's challenge was ended when he lost three laps due to a fuel pick-up problem. In the final stages of the race, it seemed clear that everyone had to pit for fuel, and a caution brought out by Max Papis's spin was ideal. All the leaders pitted, except Fernández who for some reason stayed out. It seemed to be a mistake, as the race went green with 4 laps left, and he did not have enough fuel for 4 green-flag laps. However, Greg Moore, running second, spun while lapping backmarkers, which resulted in Richie Hearn crashing, and the caution came out again. Whereas the spin dropped Moore to fourth, the caution was till the end of the race, which meant that Fernández did not have to stop, and thus won the race. de Ferran recovered to finish second, and Christian Fittipaldi completed the podium.


1999 Firestone Firehawk 500K Wikipedia

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