ARA Racefacts Bulletin: CART and F1 Finales, 1998

2 November 1998


NOVEMBER 1, 1998


	Jimmy Vasser's victory (Target Ganassi
Reynard-Honda-Firestone) in Sunday's Marlboro 500 CART Fed
Ex event at California Speedway ended a seven-race streak of
first-time 500-mile racewinners in CART point-paying 500s!
	Beginning with Jacques Villeneuve's win in the 1995
Indianapolis 500, seven consecutive first-time 500-miler
winners took the top step on the podium!  Scott Pruett won
the 1995 Michigan 500; Jimmy Vasser won the May 1996
Michigan U.S. 500 while Andre Ribeiro won the July 1996
Michigan Marlboro 500; in 1997 Alessandro Zanardi won at
Michigan and Mark Blundell at California Speedway, and Greg
Moore won the 1998 Michigan U.S. 500!
	Ganassi Racing has won three of the last eight CART
500-milers, taking one win apiece in 1996 (Vasser in the
U.S. 500, in 1997 (Zanardi at Michigan) and 1998 (Vasser at
California Speedway)!
	The other five 1995-1998 CART 500s have been shared by
Forsythe, Team Kool Green, PacWest, Patrick Racing, and
	Reynard has won six of the eight 1995-1998 CART 500s
with Lola taking the other two; Reynard has a current
four-race CART 500-miler win streak, with Lola's last CART
500 win coming on July 28, 1996 at Michigan (Andre Ribeiro,
Tasman Lola-Honda-Firestone).
	Honda has won four of the eight 1995-1998 CART 500s
with Ford and Mercedes at two victories apiece.  Ford hasn't
won a CART 500, however, since Scott Pruett's 1995 Michigan
	After Ford power swept the 1995 CART 500s and Honda
power swept the 1996 CART 500s at Michigan, Honda and
Mercedes have split the 1997 and 1998 CART 500s, Honda
winning at Michigan in 1997 and California in 1998 while
Mercedes won California in 1997 and Michigan in 1998!
	Vasser's Sunday win was the seventh consecutive CART
500 victory for Firestone tires!  Goodyear's last CART 500
win was scored by Jacques Villeneuve in the 1995
Indianapolis 500.
	CART held eight "oval" events in 1998; Jimmy Vasser won
three (Nazareth, Milwaukee, California) to lead all drivers! 
Greg Moore scored two wins (Rio and Michigan) with Michael
Andretti (Homestead), Adrian Fernandez (Motegi), and
Alessandro Zanardi (Gateway) scoring one win each.
	Ganassi led the teams in 1998 "oval" wins with four
(Vasser three, Zanardi one).  Forsythe took two with Moore
with Patrick (Fernandez) and Newman/Haas (Andretti) scoring
one apiece.
	Reynard won seven of the eight 1998 "oval" events and
has a current seven-race "oval" win streak; Michael Andretti
won the 1998 season's first "oval" event at Homestead in the
Newman/Haas Swift!
	Honda won four of the eight 1998 "oval" events (all by
Vasser and Zanardi for Ganassi) while Mercedes won twice
(Moore for Forsythe) and Ford also took two wins (the first
two "ovals" of 1998, Homestead with Andretti and Motegi with
	Goodyear won only one of the eight 1998 "oval" events,
the first at Homestead with Michael Andretti in the
Newman/Haas Ford-powered Swift.  Firestone has a seven-race
"oval" win streak!

	Finland's Mika Hakkinen (West
McLaren-Mercedes-Bridgestone) won the 1998 FIA World Drivers
Championship with his victory in the season's final event,
the Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka.  Hakkinen, age 30 (born
September 28, 1968), began competing in F1 in 1991 for
Lotus, ranking 15th in points.  In 1992 he placed eighth in
points for Lotus.  In a limited 1993 campaign for McLaren
(he served as "test driver" before Michael Andretti left the
team), Hakkinen ranked 15th in points.  Continuing with
McLaren, Mika ranked fourth in 1994 points, seventh in 1995,
fifth in 1996 and seventh in 1997.
	Hakkinen won the Scandinavian, Sweden and Finland
Formula Ford 1600 titles in 1987.  In 1988 he won the
European EFDA Formula GM/Lotus title.  He moved on to the
British Formula 3 series in 1989, ranking seventh in points
before winning the title in 1990!  He won the 1991 Nordic
Touring Car Championship title driving a BMW.
	The Drivers title was the tenth for McLaren; it first
won the Drivers honors in 1974 and 1976.  In the "Ron Dennis
era" McLaren has won the 1984, 1985, and 1986 titles and
then won a World Championship-record four consecutive Driver
titles (1988-1991) with Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990, 1991) and
Alain Prost (1989)!
	The 1998 Drivers title for McLaren means that for the
last fifteen years (1984-1998) only three teams have
produced World Champion Drivers: McLaren, Williams, and
Benetton (1994-1995 with Michael Schumacher)!  For the last
six years, only Williams and Benetton drivers had won the
	The last team other than McLaren/Williams/Benetton to
win a Drivers title?  The defunct Brabham team, in 1983,
with Nelson Piquet in a BMW-powered car!
	While only three teams have won the Driver titles for
the last fifteen years (1984-1998), five engine
manufacturers have powered the cars: Porsche, Honda,
Renault, Ford, and Mercedes.
	Hakkinen is the third consecutive first-time winner of
the World Drivers Championship, joining Damon Hill (1996)
and Jacques Villeneuve (1997)!  This streak of first-time
champions ranks tied for third in World Championship
	The longest streak of consecutive first-time World
Champions has been five seasons, set from 1978 through 1982
(Mario Andretti, 1978; Jody Scheckter, 1979; Alan Jones,
1980; Nelson Piquet, 1981; Keke Rosberg, 1982)!
	The 1961-1964 period produced a four-season streak of
first-time World Champions (Phil Hill, 1961; Graham Hill,
1962; Jim Clark, 1963; John Surtees, 1964).
	The current streak ties the streak achieved in the
first three years of the series, 1950-1952 (Giuseppe Farina,
1950; Juan Manuel Fangio, 1951; Alberto Ascari, 1952).

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