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10 Greatest Champ Car Drivers of the Split (1996-2008)


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#51 MONTOYASPEED

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:49

1. Montoya
2. Zanardi
3. Andretti
4. Franchitti
5. Moore
6. de Ferran
7. Castro Neves
8. Bourdais
9. Tracy
10. da Matta

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#52 Pistol_Peto

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 04:26

Great thread and great lists... makes me quite nastalgic :cry:

My first "big time race" in person was a Cart race at the Michigan International Speedway (almost identical to Fontana) in 2000. If memory serves - top speed for a closed circuit was set that day at 372 km/h. It was crazy to watch those cars moving at that speed - especially coming around after after the Safety Car came in... over 25 cars running two and three abreast into the very steep banked corner. Man oh man!

As a spectator... being able to walk right up to any garage while cars were being worked on was unreal.

Greg Moore... seems like just yesterday I was watching him race around on TV. It wasn't even how good a driver he was - but more what a great person he was - that made it all the more tragic.

I miss the good days of Cart :cry:

#53 Pistol_Peto

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 04:39

By the way... looked up fastest speed ever recorded in Cart Racing - it was also at Michigan - Paul Tracy recorded a trap speed of 413.52 km/h.

#54 Atreiu

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 13:59

Originally posted by kr964
1. Zanardi
2. de Ferran
3. Montoya
4. Bourdais
5. Moore
6. da Matta
7. Vasser
8. Franchitti
9. Castro Neves
10.Tracy

The Pass :eek:


If there ever was a "The Pass" in CART, this is it.

It was done at a much higher speed without the benefit any run off or room for error whatsoever.

#55 rodlamas

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 17:16

1. Zanardi
2. de Ferran
3. Montoya
4. Castroneves


The rest is the rest.

#56 John B

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 17:27

Obviously hard to fully guage someone like Bourdais given the various levels of competition, but if I'm a team manager with a choice of anyone I'm taking Montoya and probably flipping a coin over De Ferran and Andretti.

I've given Andretti credit for outperforming Mansell in 1994 when both had the same Ford powerplant overmatched by the Penskes that year, and for outclassing C. Fittipaldi when they were teammates in the late 1990s, against the trend of many foreign road racers vs. CART veterans.

I wonder how Allmendinger would have done with a couple more seasons with Forsythe, especially since Tracy has been mentioned by several. Talk about a move which didn't do the driver, the series, or either team involved much good. The recent champcar years were largely forgetable, but it was interesting when he was winning and challenging Bourdais in 06.

#57 McGuire

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 17:29

I notice that the original premise of the article, as posed at the top of this thread, was "Top 10 Champ Car Heroes of the split." To me that implies some degree of editorial license, as opposed to sober analysis of driver records etc. Not Champ Car's 10 best drivers of the split, but Champ Car's top 10 heroes.

In that case:

1. Zanardi

#58 9 Degrees 12 Min

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 17:38

10. Justin Wilson
9. Bruno Junqueira
8. Jimmy Vasser
7. Paul Tracy
6. Greg Moore
5. Gil de Ferran
4. Cristiano da Matta
3. Sebastien Bourdais
2. Juan Pablo Montoya
1. Alex Zanardi

1. Juan Pablo Montoya
2. Alex Zanardi
3. Sebastien Bourdais
4. Gil de Ferran
5. Cristiano Da Matta
6. Paul Tracy
7. Greg Moore
8. Jimmy Vasser
9. Bruno Junqueira
10. Helio Castroneves

It was very difficult for me to establish my "podium" as SeaBass, Mango and Zanardi were, in their prime, unbeatable. The edge to Juan because of that sensational rookie season (was it 4 wins in a row at some point??)

#59 Speedworx

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 18:27

1. Alex Zanardi
2. Jimmy Vasser
3. Paul Tracy
4. Gil de Ferran
5. Cristiano da Matta
6. AJ Allmendinger
7. Bruno Junqueira
8. Memo Gidley
9. Kenny Brack
10. Sebastien Bourdais

JPM doesn't make the list cos he struggled a lot compared to Zanardi.

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#60 Spunout

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 18:39

Originally posted by Speedworx


JPM doesn't make the list cos he struggled a lot compared to Zanardi.


JPM won the title in his rookie year - something Zanardi didn´t do.

#61 BMW_F1

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 18:42

I think speedworkz was kidding.

#62 Spunout

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 18:47

Originally posted by BMW_F1
I think speedworkz was kidding.


I hope so :)

#63 jonpollak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 19:00

He was not kidding..
Read his other posts....it ain't good race fans

Jp

#64 stevewf1

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 19:54

Montoya has to first for me. The way this guy came in to the 1999 season was amazing - and fun to watch.

Oh, and his dominant win in the 2000 IRL Indy 500 was fun to see, too. That really had the die-hard IRListas in a huff and showed some of the other CART teams that the Indy 500 was "easy pickings" at the time...

#65 glorius&victorius

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 19:54

there used to be this great website called indyphoto.com which really had the best quality of pictures (dont exist anymore)

As I understand from another forum Wayne one of the photographers and the owner (?) of the site passed away. (http://www.champcarf...ead.php?t=23639)

Still some of the images by Peter Burke can still be found at http://www.champcar....2000/index.html

Not the same as the original website indyphoto.com, but still something..

#66 JonC

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 23:50

1) JPM
2) De Ferran
3) Zanardi
4) Franchitti
5) Andretti
6) Moore
7) Bourdais
8) da Matta
9) Castroneves
10) Tracy

I think the top 3 are a cut above the rest overall with JPM a clear #1 as he was head and shoulders better than anyone in his time there and only lousy Toyota reliability cost him back-to-back titles.

#67 shaggy

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 00:25

Why does Helio keep coming up on most lists ? Did I miss something ?
He never beat CdM in any of the lower series and never beat Gil in the same car.
I'd put Allmendinger ahead of him any day.

shaggy

#68 Matt Hughes

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 00:33

I'd probably put Greg Moore at the top of my list, not only because of his insane talent but also for how he was off the circuit too. He was my favourite driver right from Homestead in 1996 to that day in late 1999 at Fontana.

One of these I'll buy the tribute video to him that his foundation did in his memory. Only reason that's stopping me from doing it is that I know full well that I couldn't bear to watch it :(.

#69 EDJE

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:26

Originally posted by McGuire


Gugelmin set his record lap at Fontana in 1997 at 240.9 mph. De Ferran beat that record in 2000 with a lap of 241.426 mph.


The fastest single race lap at speed was set by British driver, Mark Blundell for PacWest. The speed registered during the race was above 237.0 mph.

Research still does not give me the exact speed but I was impressed with this weekend because it was the first time I had gone to Fontana and already knew of the blistering pace that Gugelmin set in qualifying in 1997 at 240.9 mph. Gugelmin was Mark Blundell's teammate at PacWest. These speed marks were set at the same event ... in 1997.

Gil had set his record qualifying his Penske machine in 2000 - just as McGuire had stated (I got mixed up). It turns out this was Michael Andertti's last race in CART.

Ask most people, and they will say that the fastest Qualifying Speed ... and the fastest At Race Speed would be held at INDY - not so, it's Fontana all the way!

Now, STILL go out and win some bets.

Thanks for triggering the memory ... and the additional research, McGuire.

#70 EDJE

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:48

Originally posted by Matt Hughes
I'd probably put Greg Moore at the top of my list, not only because of his insane talent but also for how he was off the circuit too. He was my favourite driver right from Homestead in 1996 to that day in late 1999 at Fontana.

One of these I'll buy the tribute video to him that his foundation did in his memory. Only reason that's stopping me from doing it is that I know full well that I couldn't bear to watch it :(.


As far as the editorial license ... I'd be in your camp for "Heros". AZ and Greg Moore heros all ... #1 & #2 because AZ had championships. Another, Fontana memory ... ... ... :(.

#71 StickShift

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 03:17

1. Montoya
2. Zanardi
3. De Ferran
4. Andretti
5. Franchitti
6. Da Matta
7. Bourdais
8. Vasser
9. Tracy
10. Moore

Honourable mentions to Junqueria, Fernandez, Castroneves, Kanaan, Papis, Brack, Rahal, Gugelmin, and Blundell, who were all very good, influential drivers.

And Dennis Vitolo.

#72 ehagar

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 03:22

Originally posted by McGuire


Greg Moore has 5 wins in 72 starts. AJ Allmendinger has 5 wins in 39 starts, while Kenny Brack has 5 wins in 59 starts.


One should be careful with Stats... CART in 1999 was uber competitive... by the time AJ came along it was a shadow of itself.

#73 Rob G

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 04:27

Originally posted by StickShift
Honourable mentions to Junqueria, Fernandez, Castroneves, Kanaan, Papis, Brack, Rahal, Gugelmin, and Blundell, who were all very good, influential drivers.

And Dennis Vitolo.

Well, he was certainly influential. :lol:

#74 Sith

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 05:14

Originally posted by rookie


hmmm...have to stick up for Zanardi here. tbh i would place them a bit more equally than you do. Alex hadn't driven any open wheelers for at least a year or maybe 2, he had been floating around driving sportscars in the US when he signed with ganassi and from mid season on he dominated Vasser, who won the title by winning 4 out of the first 6 races and then finishing in the points everyrace.

After mid season 96, Zanardi owned Vasser and the gap kept increasing. 97 was good, 98 was amazing. Possibly the best season long campaign ever put together in CART, even more telling it was at the height of the quality in terms of drivers and teams.

Zanardi stole Vassers thunder, he was never the same after the dominant Zanardi years.

JP did an awesome job, to grab the championship in 1st year...but I can't agree that Montoya is defintley #1 on the list.


Very good post! Agreed.. :up:

I was a fan of both Zanadi, and Montoya.. Sure, Montoya was more talanted, but how easy people forget those races when ever he wasn't at the front, he would overdrive and spin off... "win or spin" mentality really... Dario should have never got so close to him in the title chase.. I still think it was JOKE that Chip changed to Toyota engines in 2000! We could've seen some great battles in 2000 with Ganassi racing vs Penske racing with them both having the 'Reynard Honda Firestone" package.

I would have to Put Zanardi No.1 for his pure dominance for 2 & 1/2 years, and against better opposition than what Montoya had...

#75 Jimmy

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 05:51

Bourdais isn't getting enough love, I don't think.

He's not my favourite by any stretch, but I don't think a bloke who won four straight titles belongs below Paul Tracy - who many consider to have been a stronger driver (physically fitter & more focussed mentally) in the 00's than he was in the 90s.

#76 Racer Joe

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 06:37

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Gil de Ferran has to be much higher, at least top 3. The minute he got competitive machinery he ripped off two championships, an Indy500 win on a working holiday, and the fastest qualifying lap in the history of motorsport. Did it all without pissing anyone off either. His highpoint was arguably Portland 99. Won a race from the front running flat out, and on Goodyears. You couldn't say that very much since 1996.

Shame JPM and de Ferran never had absolutely competitive machinery in the same years. We could have seen the Prost approach v the Senna approach to winning a championship. Ganassi v Penske when both had Reynard Hondas would have been a ding dong.

I wouldn't put Wilson in there because he came in too late. Bourdais deserves to be that high because he's seriously good and never sank to the level of the rest of the grid in his 5 seasons. Just as impressive in his last race as his first test.

Where the hell is Michael Andretti? The guy's biggest problem is that his last name was Andretti and was never going to match his dad, and was a bit of an asshole. That and his horrible F1 foray meant we have a very subdued and even negative opinion of what was basically one of America's greatest racing drivers. Montoya rated him as one of the best/hardest guys he competed against. The team always outclevered themselves on the 'package' though. Always wanted to go the road less traveled trying to get an edge and all too often ended up on the inferior tire, engine, or running their own chassis, sometimes in various combos.

Junqueira's alright but he's riding the popularity wave of overachieving in Coyne equipment. Does anyone remember him as Bourdais teammate? The minute the pressure was on he wilted. My standout memory of him was at Toronto in Bourdais' first year and he was complaining about Sebastien's setups and the way he drives the car in a live TV interview. Guess which driver was faster?

Zanardi was entertaining and had some great comeback drives, but a lot of them were caused by situations he put himself in. 'Brake problems' at Vancouver anyone?

Maybe 'Heroes' gives a different criteria, but the 10 'best' guys for me are.

1. Montoya
2. De Ferran
3. Bourdais
4. Andretti
5. Moore
6. Castro Neves (he hadn't changed his name yet!)
7. Franchitti
8. Zanardi
9. Robby Gordon (though mainly based on his potential at the end of the 1995 season)
10. Da Matta


Agree with nearly all you are saying though I would give Zanardi more credit and a higher ranking. No. 5 for him ahead of Greg Moore.

Seriously, I laugh at those who put Castroneves ahead of deFerran. They have been teammates at Penske in Champcar and then moved across to IRL. In all their years together with equal machinery who has achieved more? I would have thought that is as apparent as it just about ever could in motor-racing. HCN is very quick and capable of winning lots of races. But when is that first championship going to happen?

#77 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 06:39

Originally posted by Sith


Very good post! Agreed.. :up:

I was a fan of both Zanadi, and Montoya.. Sure, Montoya was more talanted, but how easy people forget those races when ever he wasn't at the front, he would overdrive and spin off... "win or spin" mentality really... Dario should have never got so close to him in the title chase.. I still think it was JOKE that Chip changed to Toyota engines in 2000! We could've seen some great battles in 2000 with Ganassi racing vs Penske racing with them both having the 'Reynard Honda Firestone" package.

I would have to Put Zanardi No.1 for his pure dominance for 2 & 1/2 years, and against better opposition than what Montoya had...


Zanardi had to race de Ferran for the title and Gil was in a one car team on Goodyears. Montoya had to take on a full strength Team Green (99) and a reborn Penske (2000).

99-01 was really the high point of CART.

#78 JonC

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 08:12

Originally posted by Sith
I would have to Put Zanardi No.1 for his pure dominance for 2 & 1/2 years, and against better opposition than what Montoya had...


Which opposition did Zanardi have that JPM didn't? All the top drivers from 1998 drove for the same teams in 1999 with the same chassis/engine/tyres package and in 2000 Penske were back and Newman-Haas were also stronger with the Lolas.

It wasn't until 1998 that another top-line team with top-line drivers (Team Green/Franchitti/Tracy) had the Reynard/Honda/Firestone combo that gave Ganassi so much success, and by 1999 they were at full-strength as Ross posted. So if anyone had better opposition it must surely have been JPM; as good as Zanardi was.

#79 McGuire

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:38

Originally posted by stevewf1
Montoya has to first for me. The way this guy came in to the 1999 season was amazing - and fun to watch.

Oh, and his dominant win in the 2000 IRL Indy 500 was fun to see, too. That really had the die-hard IRListas in a huff and showed some of the other CART teams that the Indy 500 was "easy pickings" at the time...


The biggest winner in that race was Tony George.

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#80 EDJE

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 13:37

Originally posted by McGuire


The biggest winner in that race was Tony George.


Hear, Hear! It turned a corner.

Just look at ALL of the top team names and a pure IRL team can not be found winning a race since 2005. Penske, Andretti Green, Ganassi, and this season Newman/Haas/Lanigan. CART/CCWS teams all.

High hopes and wishes for American open-wheel racing unification success. This season has more to be interested about than some of the previous seasons. Last IRL season was pretty good - it was great to see Franchitti finally triumph and win with a nail-biter at the end. By the way, did he ever get his IRL "pilot's license" before escaping to NASCAR?

#81 IOU 16

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 16:52

Originally posted by Andy Van De Burgt
Hi all,

Last week Long Beach staged the final Champ Car event. To mark this occasion I asked veteran US single seater journalist David Phillips to list his Top 10 Champ Car Heroes of the split, so that's 1996 to 2008.

Here is his list:

10. Justin Wilson
9. Bruno Junqueira
8. Jimmy Vasser
7. Paul Tracy
6. Greg Moore
5. Gil de Ferran
4. Cristiano da Matta
3. Sebastien Bourdais
2. Juan Pablo Montoya
1. Alex Zanardi

So, what do you think? Who would you have placed in there instead?

Best,

Andrew van de Burgt
Editor, Autosport



10. Jimmy Vasser - The first Champion after the split and was a contender in his years with Ganassi.
9. A.J. Allmendinger - Who know what he would have done in 2007, but he put on a show in 2006 that showed he was a real talent.
8. Bruno Junqueria - So much talent wasted by an injury. Would have been a real competitor to Seabass.
7. Dario Franchitti - Was one of the series top drivers, with 10 wins in only 114 starts.
6. Paul Tracy - Used the chrome horn a bit too much, but still a threat at every race.
5. Gil de Ferran - 2 titles in a row is amazing, but he did so with consistancy, and not sheer winning.
4. Juan Montoya - His 2000 campaign was lackluster to his rookie domination.
3. Cristiano da Matta - Still was quick when Toyota was not. Bad situation in F1 hurt him on his return.
2. Sebastien Bourdais - Cannot deny 4 championships and 30+ wins.
1. Alex Zanardi - Agreed with that. One of the world's greatest racers.


Greg Moore should be on the list, and would be at number 8 or 9 in place of those mentioned drivers.

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII
I don't see Al Unser jr on the list, yet IIRC he garnered 4 LPGP wins in row and won indy. I replace Vaasser with him. Also, honourable mention should go to Big Mo Gugelmin for fastest official lap ever in a formula car for his 242+ lap at the Cal 500.


But Little Al never won a race after the split. MO Gugelmin was also 4th in the 1997 championship as well.



I would not place Michael Andretti on this list. In his CART years after the split he had 12 wins, and was never a legit shot for the title. 3rd in 2001 was his best result in the championship, and even then was 52 points back of de Ferran, which equaled out to two wins with de Ferran no scoring any. He had the crash or win style, and finally just showed his age with his lack of speed. No consistancy in those races either.



#82 BMW_F1

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 17:25

Originally posted by IOU 16




4. Juan Montoya - His 2000 campaign was lackluster to his rookie domination.



huh :confused:

you may want to check those 2000 stats again..
Juan Montoya - Most laps lead
Juan Montoya - Most wins, tied wit Tracy & Helio
Juan Montoya- Most fastest laps
Juan Montoya - Most poles (7) -

this year he only finished 10 races out of 20 due to Toyota engine.

#83 ezequiel

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 17:29

Originally posted by IOU 16



10. Jimmy Vasser - The first Champion after the split and was a contender in his years with Ganassi.
9. A.J. Allmendinger - Who know what he would have done in 2007, but he put on a show in 2006 that showed he was a real talent.
8. Bruno Junqueria - So much talent wasted by an injury. Would have been a real competitor to Seabass.
7. Dario Franchitti - Was one of the series top drivers, with 10 wins in only 114 starts.
6. Paul Tracy - Used the chrome horn a bit too much, but still a threat at every race.
5. Gil de Ferran - 2 titles in a row is amazing, but he did so with consistancy, and not sheer winning.
4. Juan Montoya - His 2000 campaign was lackluster to his rookie domination.
3. Cristiano da Matta - Still was quick when Toyota was not. Bad situation in F1 hurt him on his return.
2. Sebastien Bourdais - Cannot deny 4 championships and 30+ wins.
1. Alex Zanardi - Agreed with that. One of the world's greatest racers.


Greg Moore should be on the list, and would be at number 8 or 9 in place of those mentioned drivers.



But Little Al never won a race after the split. MO Gugelmin was also 4th in the 1997 championship as well.



I would not place Michael Andretti on this list. In his CART years after the split he had 12 wins, and was never a legit shot for the title. 3rd in 2001 was his best result in the championship, and even then was 52 points back of de Ferran, which equaled out to two wins with de Ferran no scoring any. He had the crash or win style, and finally just showed his age with his lack of speed. No consistancy in those races either.


I see you put Allmendinger -who was faster than Tracy at Forsythe-but you don't put Wilson -who was faster than Allmendinger at RuSPORT.
It's really hard to make a list on this. You are forced to leave drivers like Scott Pruett and Adrián Fernandez out...

#84 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 17:52

Originally posted by IOU 16




But Little Al never won a race after the split. MO Gugelmin was also 4th in the 1997 championship as well.



I would not place Michael Andretti on this list. In his CART years after the split he had 12 wins, and was never a legit shot for the title. 3rd in 2001 was his best result in the championship, and even then was 52 points back of de Ferran, which equaled out to two wins with de Ferran no scoring any. He had the crash or win style, and finally just showed his age with his lack of speed. No consistancy in those races either.


Are you kidding? The 1996 championship had wins by both Andretti and Unser Jr, and both were championship contenders until the end of the season. Zanardi only just beat Al Jr to 3rd in the standings in the final rounds.

#85 MONTOYASPEED

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 17:57

Originally posted by IOU 16
4. Juan Montoya - His 2000 campaign was lackluster to his rookie domination.


Montoya retired in the lead at least 5 times due to mechanical problems. He was still in the title fight with 2 races to go. If that is lakcluster then so be it.

#86 IOU 16

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 18:19

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld


Are you kidding? The 1996 championship had wins by both Andretti and Unser Jr, and both were championship contenders until the end of the season. Zanardi only just beat Al Jr to 3rd in the standings in the final rounds.


http://www.champcars...m/year/1996.htm

AL unser Jr. did not score a win. Michael did 5 times. Andretti was a title contender as he was runner up.


Originally posted by MONTOYASPEED
Montoya retired in the lead at least 5 times due to mechanical problems. He was still in the title fight with 2 races to go. If that is lakcluster then so be it.



Compared to his first season, 1999, it was lackluster. Following 1999, if you consider he was at every track for the first time, the second go around should have been a Michael Schumacher 2004 type season. Dominate nearly every race and take another title by a huge margain.





People, it's called research and time. I only faintly recall most of these drivers as 1996, I would have been only 6! I also did not spend the 5 minutes to do much research.

#87 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 18:32

Then you should remember how often Montoya led, and brokedown, in 2000?

#88 IOU 16

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 18:59

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Then you should remember how often Montoya led, and brokedown, in 2000?


Yes, I remember that!

Okay, does this sound better?

4. Juan Montoya - His 2000 campaign was mared by technical issues in otherwise a most likley title repeat



#89 shaggy

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 20:26

Placing anyone ahead of Montoya makes no sense. Zanardi cannot be in the same category as JPM. In the talent category, I would only put Michael and Little Al as semi equals to JPM.
I remember reading an interview where JPM said that he thought Tracy was faster than Dario .. so there.

shaggy

#90 Risil

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 20:29

All this arguing and statistic reference makes me sad. For me, the post-split CART had the unquantifiable romance about it, that watching a race, you could think that Alex Zanardi was the best driver in the world; and that overtaking prowess, all-out aggression, and an extroverted ****-off attitude were the most important attributes a driver could possess. Almost every name on the lists given could be said to be a hero, men whose exploits on and off track were ones that could inspire passion and devotion by any motor racing fan whose primary interest was the drivers. In roughly the same period as CART's heyday, the only driver F1 produced who could rise to a similar Godlike-but-human status was Jean Alesi, whose decision not to race in America after Benetton was IMO a great loss.

Considering how a multiple CART winner would seemingly only make up the numbers in F1, and any F1 driver who didn't disgrace themselves in a top team would destroy the American establishment, the fact that Indycars maintained its sense of raciness and humanity in the face of its occasionally all-too-obvious inferiority invalidates any attempt at empirical, rational analysis. By 2003, Paul Tracy must've felt like the last Native American, crushed in the face of the inexorable enlightenment, but still pitying the poor bastards for what they've lost. At least he might've done, if he wasn't such an asshole. :lol: :)

#91 wayneamartin

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 04:27

I would say the Alex Zanardi is certainly the number one of the time. He could drive from the back of the pack to the front of the pack almost at will on any circuit type street, road or oval. I have only ever see a few other drivers do that, Paul Tracy at Cleveland once, the late Dale Earnhardt maybe a couple of times, but ovals are not as hard to pass on. Michael Schumacher almost did it once in Japan, I think it was, but his Goodyears let him down. Alex did not have a good turn in F1, but in Champ car he was amazing. And Paul Tracy should be top five, he made the recent Long Beach race interesting. And I still am not sure if he hit the wall, or if the tire was down and the rear just stepped out under power. Has anyone seen a video that can help determine that?

Best of luck to Paul and Alex T. on getting rides next year.

Wish they would run the Panoz DP-01, standing starts without computers are great.

Wayne

#92 CWeil

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 05:31

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld


Are you kidding? The 1996 championship had wins by both Andretti and Unser Jr, and both were championship contenders until the end of the season. Zanardi only just beat Al Jr to 3rd in the standings in the final rounds.


Don't let it get to you too much- in 1996 IOU16 was about 5 years old. He wasn't watching the races then.

#93 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 05:56

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld


Are you kidding? The 1996 championship had wins by both Andretti and Unser Jr, and both were championship contenders until the end of the season. Zanardi only just beat Al Jr to 3rd in the standings in the final rounds.

IIRC, Al Unser Jr. didn't win a race in 1996, although he was half a lap away from doing so at Road America before the engine blew. He stayed in contention for the championship despite not having any wins.

#94 MONTOYASPEED

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 06:15

Originally posted by IOU 16
Okay, does this sound better?


Lol. So because his car failed on him many times while leading he gets punished and put down to 4th on your list.

Just to refresh your memory:

Homestead: Retired while leading. Qualified 3rd.
Nazareth: Finished 4th after getting rammed by Jourdain. Led 76 out of 225 laps. Qualified on the pole.
Long Beach: Retired due to mechanical problems. Qualified 3rd.
Rio: Retired due to mechanical problems. Qualified 2nd.
Motegi: Had a 10 second lead and a valve came loose after a pit stop. Managed to come back and finish 7th. Qualified on the pole.
Milwaukee: Victory. Qualified on the pole.
Detroit: Retired while leading due to mechanical problems. Qualified on the pole.
Portland: Retired due to mechanical problems. Qualified 8th.
Cleveland. Finished 6th. Qualified 6th.
Toronto: Franchitti crashed into him on lap 1. Qualified 4th.
Michigan: Victory. Qualified 7th.
Chicago: Retired while leading . Qualified on the pole.
Mid-Ohio: Retired due to mechanical problems. Qualified 10th.
Elkhart Lake: Retired while leading due to mechanical problems. Qualified 12th.
Vancouver: Retired due to mechanical problems. Qualified 5th.
Laguna Seca: Finished 6th. Qualified 5th.
Gateway: Victory. Qualified on the pole.
Houston: Finished 2nd. Qualified 6th.
Australia: Crashed in turn 1 with de Ferran and Franchitti. Qualified on the pole.
Fontana: Retired while leading due to mechanical problems. Qualified 5th.

20 races, 10 retirements (5 of them while leading), 3 victories, 7 pole positions.

Final standings:

1. Gil de Ferran 168
2. Adrian Fernandez 158
3. Roberto Moreno 147
4. Kenny Brack 135
5. Paul Tracy 134
9. Juan Montoya 126

Finished 42 points behind the champion while loosing a very likely 100 points (20 points per win) just on the races he was leading because of his equipment. Very lacklustre indeed. :down:

#95 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:00

Anyone who watched CART in 1999 and 2000 would know that Montoya was just as dominant in 2000 as he was in 1999, and he made fewer errors of the kind that almost cost him the 1999 title. However, both Toyota engine and Lola chassis were highly unreliable at that time, and one or the other cost Montoya numerous wins. He was also caught up in a couple of incidents not of his own doing. Take away just half of Montoya's bad luck in 2000, and he'd wrap the title up with a race or two to spare.

#96 Digitaldrug

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 08:11

Originally posted by IOU 16

Compared to his first season, 1999, it was lackluster. Following 1999, if you consider he was at every track for the first time, the second go around should have been a Michael Schumacher 2004 type season. Dominate nearly every race and take another title by a huge margain.
.


How do you dominate when you retire everytime your in the lead?

#97 McGuire

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:22

Originally posted by shaggy
Placing anyone ahead of Montoya makes no sense. Zanardi cannot be in the same category as JPM. In the talent category, I would only put Michael and Little Al as semi equals to JPM.
I remember reading an interview where JPM said that he thought Tracy was faster than Dario .. so there.

shaggy



I supose it depends on the selection criteria. The invitation at the top of this thread states "top 10 Champ Car heroes." In that regard Zanardi wins hands down. In my view Montoya was in a class of his own on raw driving ability, but even in his CART days his Racer X persona was polarizing fans. Not CART's greatest hero in that department.

Zanardi had a different kind of talent that is difficult to define even today. He was certainly not in Juan's class for car control. He simply had an ability to win, based on talent, heart and his incredible will... Chip once said to me, "if you can just give him a sniff of the checkered flag, he'll go get it for you." The Pass at Laguna Seca and his win at Long Beach with the left steering arm folded up come to mind here. There was a kind of magic about the way he won. And in the joy he projected when he won -- he invented the donut.

But when he returned to CART in '01 he seemed to be just another driver. He was pushing hard trying to regain the magic at Lausitz when he lost both his legs. For what happened next he is regarded as CART's greatest hero. Zanardi called it "my greatest victory."

#98 former champ

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:35

Originally posted by IOU 16
4. Juan Montoya - His 2000 campaign was lackluster to his rookie domination.


your clearly bright.....

:lol: