Papis scores first CART win

Max Papis scored his first CART win at the season-opener at Miami. The Italian, driving for Rahal Reynard Ford, took the lead with ten laps to go

Papis scores first CART win

"This is fantastic, the feeling is wonderful. The Rahal team was perfect, and I am so happy," said Max.

Papis took the lead with 10 laps to go from Paul Tracy, The Team Green driver an unlikely leader after what had been a disasterous weekend for him and team mate Dario Franchitti. Tracy slipped to third behind Roberto Moreno.

Papis, starting his second season for Bobby Rahal, took the lead when Tracy ran wide while trying to pass backmarkers. Moreno also took advantage as Tracy got back up to speed. Moreno's second place marked a 1-2 for Ford, confirming pre-race predictions that it would be the motor to beat.

Tracy's third place was much better than the team had hoped for, but it could so easily have been a victory. "My pit crew made the difference," he said. "Our car was good for maybe eighth place, but we got good points and that's what we came here for."

Pole-sitter Gil de Ferran went out of contention when he pitted just before a yellow, effectively losing a lap to the leaders, while one of the stars of the race was rookie Alexandre Tagliani for Forsythe. The Canadian was strong all afternoon, until a pit penalty cost him positions.

The next race is at Nazareth on April 9.

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