Archive at BCPix.com

Montoya, Stallone, and Thoughts of Homestead 2000


Gil de Ferran pit stop

The year was 2000 and I got a call offering me a rare, at that time, opportunity to shoot the exotic open-wheel, open-cockpit Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) indy-style cars during their annual visit to South Florida's Homestead-Miami Speedway.




Given my inability then, as now, to say "no" to virtually any photo assignment, I loaded up and headed south, excited about the chance to document the racers zinging around the 1.5 mile oval at way over 200 miles an hour. Although I've often wondered and lamented the aforementioned inability to decline any photo assignment, I have to admit that that same inability has helped to make me the photographer (good or bad!) and my photographic are what we are today!


Juan Montoya, circa 2000


Anyway, as I sit at my computer and digitize my 35mm film production from "back-in-the-day" the images remind me of a few things that stand out now and stood out then from this particular assignment.



First I remember the young Colombian driver and the buzz surrounding him and everything he did in the days leading up to the event. Although I did not know much about the young
Juan Pablo Montoya, it was very obvious that many for the fans and drivers held him in very high esteem. The press followed him around the paddock and recorded every move he made, and the editor who I was working for made it my job to do the same. Sure enough he qualified second fastest and started on the font row and many of South Florida's Hispanic population came out in force on race day to watch him work his craft.


Montoya eyes reflection

I recall to this day the many Colombian flags flying over the front stretch grandstands and the loud roars filling the air even above the whine of the race cars as Montoya did not disappoint and charged to the front leading 21 of the race's first 23 laps.

I also vividly remember how abruptly the energy drained from the arena as an electrical probable sent Montoya to the sidelines and out of the race after 23 laps. It was amazing to see so many fans stream from the grandstands and head for home once Montoya had retired rom the event.




Another strong memory I have is walking the pits a day or tow before the race and noticing a couple of men standing and talking by the pit wall. I walked down to where the two men were standing a recognized Alex Zanardi who was at the time right between the Formula One and CART Indy Car portions of his illustrious career. I raised my camera and started to photograph Zanardi. Almost as an after thought I looked to see who he was talking to and immediately recognized the famous actor
Sylvester Stallone! I was rewarded with a few great shots of the two men conversing. I found out later that Stallone was working on his film "Driven" which was set in the world of Indy Car racing.


Stallone and Zanardi


Finally, I was exposed to the contagious enthusiasm and positivity of the young Italian driver "Mad" Max Papis, who ended up winning the race that weekend. From the great race he drove, to his nearly climbing out of the car on pit road while it was still rolling after winning the race to his rating of runner-up Roberto Moreno on his shoulders in victory lane, it was obvious that "Mad Max" had what it took to be a winner on the race track and in life and that his attitude wold do nothing but elevate whatever form of motorsports he chose to participate in as his career moved forward.


"Mad" Max Papis


So, as is usually the case, a last minute photo assignment, accepted on impulse, turned out to produce memories and photographs that stick with me to this day.

To view my entire 2000 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami photo gallery, please
click here.

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www.bcpix.com is the online home for the photographic archive of Florida-based photographer Brian Cleary. At this portal not only can you search and browse an ever-growing collection of photography covering more than 30 years, but many of the images are available for online purchase as editorial images, commercial images and/or personal use prints.

Results

Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami

CART Indy Car race
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL
March 26, 2000
150 laps on 1.502 mile paved oval; 225.3 miles

Fin St Driver # Owner Car Laps Money Status Laps Led
1 13 Max Papis 7 Bobby Rahal Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 100,000 running 10
2 7 Roberto Moreno 20 Pat Patrick Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 60,000 running 0
3 17 Paul Tracy 26 Barry Green Reynard 2Ki/Honda 150 51,000 running 32
4 10 Jimmy Vasser 12 Chip Ganassi Lola B2K/00/Toyota 150 35,000 running 0
5 12 Patrick Carpentier 32 Gerry Forsythe Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 30,000 running 0
6 1 Gil de Ferran 2 Roger Penske Reynard 2Ki/Honda 150 25,000 running 41
7 9 Christian Fittipaldi 11 Newman Haas Racing Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 150 22,500 running 0
8 15 Shinji Nakano 5 Derrick Walker Reynard 2Ki 029/Honda 150 20,000 running 0
9 4 Alex Tagliani 33 Gerry Forsythe Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 17,500 running 8
10 14 Tony Kanaan 55 Morris Nunn Reynard 2Ki/Mercedes 149 16,500 running 4
11 22 Dario Franchitti 27 Barry Green Reynard 2Ki 027/Honda 149 15,250 running 0
12 23 Cristiano da Matta 97 Cal Wells Reynard 2Ki/Toyota 149 14,250 running 0
13 16 Mark Blundell 18 PacWest Racing Reynard 2Ki/Mercedes 148 13,250 running 2
14 21 Michel Jourdain Jr. 16 Keith Wiggins Lola B2K/00/Mercedes 147 12,500 running 0
15 19 Norberto Fontana 10 John Della Penna Reynard 2Ki/Toyota 147 12,000 running 0
16 18 Mauricio Gugelmin 17 PacWest Racing Reynard 2Ki/Mercedes 146 11,750 running 0
17 25 Luis Garcia Jr. 25 Frank Arciero Reynard 99i/Mercedes 132 11,500 accident 0
18 5 Kenny Br�ck 8 Bobby Rahal Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 78 11,250 oil leak 6
19 20 Oriol Servi 96 Cal Wells Reynard 2Ki/Toyota 65 11,000 transmission 0
20 11 Gualter Salles 34 Dale Coyne Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 51 10,750 transmission 0
21 3 Adri�n Fern�ndez 40 Pat Patrick Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 49 0 oil leak 26
22 6 Michael Andretti 6 Newman Haas Racing Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 37 0 oil pressure 0
23 2 Juan Montoya 1 Chip Ganassi Lola B2K/00/Toyota 23 0 engine 21
24 24 Takuya Kurosawa 19 Dale Coyne Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 11 0 electrical 0
25 8 H�lio Castroneves 3 Roger Penske Reynard 2Ki/Honda 9 0 electrical 0


Time of race: 01:22:01
Average Speed: 164.788 MPH
Pole Speed: 25.942 seconds
2 cautions for 17 laps
Race Purse: $ 500,000