Early promise vanishes for Bettenhausen

Michel Jourdain Jr and the Bettenhausen team were bitterly disappointed after what should have been their best weekend of the 2000 season fell apart in Vancouver

Early promise vanishes for Bettenhausen

The young Mexican, who turned 24 this weekend, was 11th quickest after first qualifying, making it into the 'fast' group for the first time all year. He set a pace good enough for a top ten position in Saturday practice too, but was then left stranded by an engine problem early in the second qualifying session and dropped to 17th on the grid.

In the race, he made up ground early on but crashed out when he hit the back of 13th-placed Tony Kanaan on lap 11.

"Oriol Servia had some kind of problem and Tony went to the outside to pass him," Jourdain explained. "He just braked too hard for me and I couldn't miss him.

"We should have had a great weekend, the team really deserved a good result. We could have qualified in the top ten and in the race the car was perfect."

Jourdain lies 22nd in the standings and has only scored ten points all season in his Bettenhausen Lola-Mercedes. The small team was rocked by the death of team founder Tony Bettenhausen in a pre-season plane crash and has been unable to do much testing so a good result in Vancouver would have been a welcome boost.

"I think we had the best car out there," Jourdain added. "It was nice to be fast again..."

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