Roberto Moreno

Last Sunday at Cleveland, it all came good for Roberto Moreno as he drove a perfect race from pole to flag.

Roberto Moreno

CART racer Roberto Moreno has been knocking at the door on Victory Lane for most of the season. At Portland, a week ago, he drove to a strong second place, but more significantly, he took the lead in the championship. Then last Sunday at Cleveland, it all came good, as he drove a perfect race from pole to flag. He's strengthened his position at the top of the table and he's broken the psychological barrier in netting his first win. He's a strong, determined competitor and he's probably one of the nicest guys on the CART circuit. But at we now know we have to be careful what we say because you never know who is logging on...

Roberto, congratulations for Sunday, you drove a fantastic race.

Thanks very much... But let me ask you a question. On Saturday evening I was on the internet and looking at Here I am, the first pole of my career, and the headline was something like 'Unlikely Hero Gets Pole'. And then it talked about me spinning after I got my lap time. I thought: 'Is that all you can talk about?' Here I am after 12 years, in a competitive situation again when everybody has similar cars, engines and tyres; where a driver can perform to his best... I'm progressing in every race, knocking on the door, then winning. I make my first pole and that's all I get!

Er, well, we'll try and make amends now... To get your first pole then your first win in one weekend, it must be quite an experience for you. You sounded quite emotional on the last lap, has it all sunk in yet?

[Laughs]Yeah, it's all there. The first time is the one that really makes you feel good. It's like somebody that one day thinks, 'Well, I can go to the moon,' but it's just a dream. And then that dream starts to become reality with the steps that you make. It's the same thing with me. After so many years I'm finally again in a competitive team where I can get results. So it's extremely rewarding to me after working so hard to find a team I can work with at a competitive level to get the benefits of that.

You've had ups and downs over your career, did you ever think you would have a weekend like this?

Sure, I've been on the path for that. The ups and downs were financial in a way because I was always trying to find a team where I could race with the potential of winning. That's been the story of my life - trying to find money to race. To show enough results so that the teams who do have enough money will hire you. Just like Patrick did this year.

Patrick Racing Reynard-Ford - it's a good package right now?

It's one of the good packages. There are many good packages out there - this is one of them. I think the Lolas and the Reynards are very, very similar this year. Sometimes the Lola has a little bit better aerodynamics than the Reynard at some races, and sometimes the Reynard is much better. So it is just a very, very equal season, not just with cars, but with the engine manufacturers as well.

That must be extra satisfying for you, when everyone is on such an equal level you completely dominate the race at Cleveland.

Well, what that does is allow me to be in that position with the team - in the position that we are competing to win. It's very satisfying for me to be in the position, for sure.

There was an incident at the first corner, what is your view of what happened?

I didn't see anything! I have still to see the tape. I am in the middle of moving house, and since Sunday the phone never stops ringing. I haven't had time to sit down and watch the race yet!

And last week at Portland there was trouble at the first corner, yet you stayed clear of that. You seem to be good at keeping out of trouble...

You know, I always base myself around the old saying: To finish first, first you have to finish.

That has been true of your season so far. You have been very consistent.

Well it doesn't mean that we haven't been trying to win races. When you look at Long Beach, I overtook five cars up to half distance on the race. We were leading the race when we broke the gearbox. So we knocked on the door there. In Nazareth I was running second and Gil [de Ferran], who was leading, supposedly had to make a pit-stop - they've denied that now. But they won the race with my yellow. I had a slow puncture with 15 laps to go. We didn't finish that race and caused a yellow which Gil won with. So we knocked on the door there. At Portland we made a strategy of two stops, the only team to be able to do that.

You are very good at being economical with the fuel in the car...

Yeah, but without jeopardising the speed. It's been very good.

You now have a 22-point lead in the championship, are you starting to think: 'Maybe this is my year...'?

A driver should never think that way, because you get a reality check very soon. The way I work is I will view every race as a single race, just like we did in Cleveland, try to get the best out of it and try to bring as many points home as we can. And that will be the strategy we will be using for the whole year.

You head to Toronto in two week's time. Will you approach that race any differently now you have a significant lead in the championship? Or will it be business as usual?

We will be approaching it in the most professional way. There is no need to change that.

OK Roberto, congratulations once again. Best of luck for Toronto.

Hey thanks very much. Fantastic. Make this story good, huh!

Moreno wins in Cleveland

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