2001 Firestone Firehawk 500
|Race 5 of 21 in the 2001 CART season|
|Date||May 19, 2001|
|Official name||2001 Firestone Firehawk 500|
|Location||Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi, Japan|
1.549 mi / 2.493 km
311.349 mi / 501.067 km
|Driver||Hélio Castroneves (Team Penske)|
|Driver||Alex Zanardi (Mo Nunn Racing)|
|Time||26.715 (on lap 184 of 201)|
|First||Kenny Bräck (Team Rahal)|
|Second||Hélio Castroneves (Team Penske)|
|Third||Tony Kanaan (Mo Nunn Racing)|
The 2001 Firestone Firehawk 500 was a Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) motor race held on May 19, 2001 at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan. It was the 5th round of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season. Team Rahal driver Kenny Bräck scored his first career win in CART despite not starting on the front row for the first time that season. Polesitter Hélio Castroneves finished 2nd and Tony Kanaan took 3rd.
Bräck's win moved him five spots into 1st place in the drivers' standings, where he would remain for much of the season. It was Team Rahal's first win of the season and their first since 2000 at Miami-Homestead. Castroneves' podium put him at 2nd place overall in the standings; he and Bräck would continue to battle for 1st place for much of the season. Kanaan's podium was his first since his win at the 1999 U.S. 500 in Michigan and would be his and Mo Nunn Racing's only podium in 2001.
The race was a testament to Bräck and Castroneves' blistering race pace, as both were the only ones still on the lead lap at the end of the race; this was partially the result of the long, uninterrupted stretch of green-flag running between Laps 8 and 194. Throughout the race Brack was the last of the leaders to pit during each round of stops. He thus needed less fuel at his final pit stop and saved enough time to leap from third to first place. The race also saw heavy attrition, as almost half of the entrants ultimately retired with a variety of issues. Points leader Cristiano da Matta was taken out on Lap 1 by rookie Bruno Junqueira, who spun coming out of Turn 2. This dropped the points leader into a tie for 3rd in the standings.
|May 18, 2001 - Qualifying Speeds|
|1||Hélio Castroneves||25.849||—||215.591||Team Penske|
|2||Dario Franchitti||25.991||+0.142||214.413||Team Green|
|3||Gil de Ferran||25.993||+0.144||214.396||Team Penske|
|4||Tony Kanaan||26.022||+0.173||214.157||Mo Nunn Racing|
|5||Bruno Junqueira (R)||26.035||+0.186||214.050||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|6||Kenny Bräck||26.044||+0.195||213.976||Team Rahal|
|7||Michel Jourdain, Jr.||26.057||+0.208||213.870||Bettenhausen Racing|
|8||Alex Zanardi||26.088||+0.239||213.615||Mo Nunn Racing|
|9||Adrian Fernández||26.097||+0.248||213.542||Fernandez Racing|
|10||Patrick Carpentier||26.147||+0.298||213.132||Forsythe Racing|
|11||Michael Andretti||26.215||+0.366||212.581||Team Motorola|
|12||Cristiano da Matta||26.274||+0.425||212.103||Newman-Haas Racing|
|13||Shinji Nakano||26.280||+0.431||212.055||Fernandez Racing|
|14||Christian Fittipaldi||26.366||+0.517||211.363||Newman-Haas Racing|
|15||Nicolas Minassian (R)||26.378||+0.529||211.267||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|16||Paul Tracy||26.432||+0.583||210.835||Team Green|
|17||Max Papis||26.452||+0.603||210.676||Team Rahal|
|18||Oriol Servià||26.528||+0.679||210.072||Sigma Autosport|
|19||Alex Tagliani||26.530||+0.681||210.057||Forsythe Racing|
|20||Scott Dixon (R)||26.587||+0.738||209.606||PacWest Racing|
|21||Jimmy Vasser||26.600||+0.751||209.504||Patrick Racing|
|22||Bryan Herta||26.786||+0.937||208.049||Forsythe Racing|
|23||Roberto Moreno||26.800||+0.951||207.940||Patrick Racing|
|24||Tora Takagi (R)||26.840||+0.991||207.630||Walker Motorsport|
|25||Maurício Gugelmin||26.860||+1.011||207.476||PacWest Racing|
- Lead changes: 9 among 5 drivers
Standings after the raceEdit
- "2001 Firestone Firehawk 500 Qualifying Results". Championship Auto Racing Teams. May 18, 2001. Archived from the original on June 11, 2003. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "2001 Firestone Firehawk 500 Race Results". Championship Auto Racing Teams. May 18, 2001. Archived from the original on June 11, 2003. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- 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)
- "2001 Firestone Firehawk 500K". Racing-Reference.com. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "Firestone Firehawk 500 Sunday Press Notes". Championship Auto Racing Teams. May 19, 2001. Archived from the original on January 25, 2003. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "Standings After Motegi". Motorsport.com. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
2001 Lehigh Valley Grand Prix
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2000 Firestone Firehawk 500
|Firestone Firehawk 500||Next race:|
2002 Bridgestone Potenza 500