Round 5 - Mexico (Mexico City)
In the Pro class, Parkhouse was incredibly quick again - only .333 off of pole and well up the grid in 5th place. Wilson was similarly well placed at the end of the session, lining up seventh. The remaining slots on the grid went to Leroy and the Lotus pair.
Pos No. Driver Team Cl. Time Diff. Laps Pts 1. #61 Oliver Roberts Digitech Ace 1:09.261 +00.000 8 20 2. # 1 Jan Svehlik Bolgani Ace 1:09.269 +00.008 8 16 3. # 3 Thomas Bodlien Power Tech Ace 1:09.461 +00.200 12 14 4. # 4 Steffen Diener Power Tech Ace 1:09.493 +00.232 11 12 5. #11 Ian Parkhouse Phoenix Pro 1:09.594 +00.333 11 10 6. # 9 Darren Crawford Corgi Ace 1:09.615 +00.354 8 8 7. #39 Robert Wilson Powerecoil-2000 Pro 1:09.841 +00.580 10 6 8. # 2 Mike Hogg Bolgani Ace 1:10.580 +01.319 11 5 9. # 7 Olivier Leroy CyberSpeed Pro 1:10.683 +01.422 11 4 10. #25 Jim Spratt Lotus Pro 1:12.335 +03.074 5 3 11. #26 Gerard Volders Lotus Pro -:--.--- DNQ 14
On lap 20 the pit stops started and by the time they were all over Svehlik was leading from Roberts, Bodlien, Diener and the late-stopping Jim Spratt who made his stop on lap 30. On that same lap, Diener found his way past Bodlien and Mike Hogg nosed into the top five for the first time in the race, yet another disappointing performance from the Bolgani number 2. An unfortunate Parkhouse limped into the pits on lap 40 just as the second round of pitstops were beginning and the Phoenix team plugged the laptop into the car, a sure sign of electronic troubles. In fact, he made a further 2 pitstops in the next 10 laps before a solution could be found, dropping him to a distant last place.
When the second round of stops had been completed, Svehlik was still leading the way, 15 seconds ahead of Roberts who was a further 35 seconds ahead of the duelling Diener and Bodlien, fighting hard for the last podium slot. Lap 52 saw Bodlien take the place but he lost it on lap 59 when a mistake allowed Diener back through and a spin on the following lap lost him 16 seconds. The positions remained the same to the end while Wilson again took the Pro spoils, ahead of Spratt and the disappointed Parkhouse.
At he one third point in the championship, Svehlik holds a fairly comfortable 93 point advantage over Bodlien who is well ahead of third placed Diener. PowerTech lead the Constructors table by 130 points from Bolgani with Corgi the leading single car team in third. The Pro table is led by Wilson thanks to his consistent performance this year with Jim Spratt a surprising but well earned 2nd, 50 points behind. Parkhouse lies a disappointing third thanks to some bad luck and some mistakes on his behalf. Powerecoil-2000 and Phoenix are snapping at the two car Lotus team`s heels in the Constructors standings.
Pos No. Driver Team Cl. Time Diff. Pts 1. # 1 Jan Svehlik Bolgani Ace 1h25:53.467 +0:00.000 180 +5 2. #61 Oliver Roberts Digitech Ace 1h26:23.347 +0:29.880 170 +5 3. # 4 Steffen Diener Power Tech Ace 1h27:05.121 +1:11.654 165 4. # 3 Thomas Bodlien Power Tech Ace 1h27:08.639 +1:15.172 160 5. #15 Benjamin Suerig Amiga Racing Ace 1h27:33.548 +1:40.081 155 6. # 9 Darren Crawford Corgi Ace 1h27:38.822 +1:45.355 151 7. # 2 Mike Hogg Bolgani Ace 1h27:49.226 +1:55.759 147 8. #39 Robert Wilson Powerecoil-2000 Pro 1h28:09.378 +2:15.911 143 9. #25 Jim Spratt Lotus Pro 1h28:45.181 +2:51.714 139 10. #11 Ian Parkhouse Phoenix Pro 1h29:13.811 +3:20.344 135 +3
"I started the last GP before the first 3 week break on D compound tyres. I used my strategy from Mexico GP in season 1998/1999. I was able to win there. So my first stop was in lap 23 and second in lap 43."
Oliver Roberts (Digitech), 2nd:
"A very boring race really - so boring, I even messed up my pitstop strategy.
I planned to pit on lap 23 and 46, but for my second stop I accidentally
pitted 3 laps early! Apart from that, I had a spin on lap 30, and about 5
laps from the end of the race, I very nearly smashed into a stationary
McLaren in the middle of the last turn, after passing a green flag! Somehow
I managed to avoid it, but I came to a complete standstill. I found it
difficult to get together after that, and I was affected over the following
laps too, where I did some very slow lap times. Still a pretty good race
time though, but I could have done much better."
Steffen Diener (Power Tech), 3rd:
"Mexico, one of my favourite circuits. Those wonderful S's
and long straights that are actually long enough so that CCs
can overtake each other and don't line up in long chaines.
That's why I had a good race, only at the end I got caught up
in traffic a little bit."
Benjamin Suerig (Amiga Racing), 5th:
"After missing 3 sessions, it's great to be back! The race was far from perfect. In fact it was pretty poor. But I really hadn't found the time for practising. There was also one very dangerous moment on lap 21, when I almost hit the wall. And I said to myself: "Oh no, no, nooooo! What are you doing, man?!" (stolen from the Amiga game Joyride ;-). It was still very much fun, which is the most important thing."
Darren Crawford (Corgi), 6th:
"A hard track to pass on, the straights and a couple of corners which made it a very slow race. Zonta took out his team mate J.V., hows that for realism. I got a bit of grip after the last pits but traffic kept me from getting in a sizzling fast lap. My car is still in one piece, and that's good because my sponsors pay next to nothing."
Mike Hogg (Bolgani), 7th:
"I was much happier with that race than previous ones. During the whole thing my only problem was a
spin avoiding a wayward Jag. My lap times weren't the quickest but I think my previous non-finishes
were at the back of my mind.... Overall I'm pretty pleased with that."
Robert Wilson (Powerecoil-2000), 8th:
"An average drive this one really, with a finishing time which was still
reasonably poor. I was actually aiming for a time three minutes quicker than
what I attained but traffic and two really bad computer car accidents during
this race put pay to this. I couldn't really pick up the pace much more than
I was pleased that I did not spin or damage my car at all during this race.
Driving back to the pits after the race my pit crew commented on the good
condition of the tyres and generally the car itself. A three pitstop strategy
didn't turn out too bad in the end. I just hope the time I lost overall
hasn't cost me too many championship points for my title challenge."
Jim Spratt (Lotus), 9th:
If all my races go like that I'll be happy. I lead from pole to the finish,
although one of the Ferraris' did spin as I took the last corner, and there were
NO yellow flags. A totally clockwork race - hopefully Monanco will go as well
Ian Parkhouse (Phoenix), 10th:
"A bit of a disatrous race, with only two positives. Firstly I did actually finish, and secondly I set a good fastest lap (faster than the fastest lap in the ace race of two seasons ago!)."