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Magic win for Perfect Paul.

With every finger and toes crossed in anticipation, Tracy calmly reeled off the final four laps to record a well deserved victory to the absolute delight of his crew, who judged his fuel strategy so close to perfection he ran dry on the slowing down lap. Getting a ride back to the pits in a course car may not be the most glamorous way to celebrate a victory but it did nothing to dampen Paul's spirit and his Championship challenge was back on track.

Fernandez was a relieved second after coming under increasing pressure from Brack in the closing laps, the Mexican driver moving into fourth place in the points standings on the back of his sixth points finish in the last seven races. Brack meanwhile extended his already massive lead in the Rookie of the Year standings and kept himself in with a shout of the big prize with another podium finish, his tenth points finish in the last twelve starts.

Moreno's fuel economy run may not have reaped maximum reward on this day but Pupo managed to move himself back into second place in the points standings, just 13 points behind Andretti.

Jimmy Vasser was fifth in one of his strongest drives in recent months although the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the increasingly popular John Della Penna owned Reynard-Toyota of Memo Gidley who came home in a seasons best sixth place for the close-knit team.

Gidley's place came at the expense of Mark Blundell and Tony Kanaan, both of whom encountered late race difficulties. Blundell was another victim of the gearbox plague with just six laps to go although the Englishman was classified eleventh while Kanaan had already been the victim of a superb Gidley overtaking manoeuvre at Turn One when his thirsty Mercedes engine ran dry as he crossed the line on the penultimate lap and was unable to stop Max Papis flashing past for seventh right at the death.

Castroneves and Servia completed the top ten, both a lap down after their various difficulties with several drivers having some unsavoury things to say about the Spaniards lack of co-operation when it came to moving out of the way whilst being lapped.

However the final laugh was left to Tracy who could do nothing but salute the crowd and shrug his shoulders as his race winning machine was attached to the back of a course truck and was silently towed into the parc-ferme. It was a fitting end to a day of high drama.



Related Pictures

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