Year 2001: For his third year in the Dayton Indy Lights series, owned by
CART, Mario signed one day before the start of the season with PacWest
Lights. His teammate is Dan Wheldon, Toyota Atlantic series runner up in
Monterrey 4/4 (circuit)
Long Beach 1/4 (street)
Texas 6/6 (oval)
Milwaukee 6/2 (oval)
Portland 5/11* (circuit)
Kansas 1/10* (oval)
Toronto 2/2 (street)
Mid Ohio (circuit)
Laguna Seca (circuit)
This year Mario was negotiating with CART team Forsythe/Zakspeed Racing
before choosing to return to Indy Lights with champion team PacWest Lights.
Has two pole positions (PP) in the season, Long Beach and Kansas, showing
his versatility, and has not started behind the third row all year long.
Currently fourth with 71 points with 5 races to run.
Year 2000: Run his second season in Indy Lights with Mexican team
GO-Mxico-Herdez-Quaker, finishes eight in the standings with 67 points.
Long Beach 7/10
Detroit 6/5 (circuit)
Chicago 15/11 (oval)
Vancouver 6/5 (street)
Laguna Seca 12/10
Houston 9/12* (Street)
Ran second full season in Indy Lights in 2000 as the number one driver for
team GO-Mexico-Herdez-Quaker having a new teammate in Luis Daz. Scored
points at every race until the California finale when his teammate crashed
with him after contact with Felipe Giaffone. Scored a season's best
third-place finish at Milwaukee after qualifying fifth, also his best
qualifying effort. Improved 11 positions and won the Dayton Move to the
Front Award at Michigan.
Year 1999: Races in his first full season at the Indy Lights series with
the Mexican team GO. Finishes eleventh in the championship with 66 points
and ends third in the Rookie of the Year standings.
Long Beach 17/6
Nazareth 7/17* (oval)
Cleveland 17/9 (airport)
Toronto 6/20* (street)
Laguna Seca 6/16*
Teammate of veteran irish driver Derek Higgins, Mario was the only driver to
finish in the top five at both superspeedway races. Won from the pole (first
PP too) in his first race on oval at Homestead. Comes from 17th to sixth at
Long Beach to win the Move to the Front Award and becomes the first mexican
driver since Adrin Fernndez to lead the series.
1998: Mexican Formula 3 champion with 6 wins (Saltillo, Pachuca, Zacatecas,
Monterrey, Atizapn and Guadalajara) and 6 PPs running for the Herdez
Competition Team. Runs two year-end races in the Indy Lights series,
Vancouver (start 19, finish 14) and Laguna Seca (14/7), with Mexican team GO
and signs for 1999 on strength of his showings.
1997: Third in the Mexican Formula 3000 championship, with 2 wins in the
tracks of Mexico City and Guadalajara.
1996: Third in the Mexican Formula 3000 championship with one win at
Zacatecas. Also runs in the Mexican Formula 3 series getting two wins at the
beginning of the year before focusing in the F3000; he leaves the F3 while
leading the standings.
1995: Third in the Mexican Formula 3 with two wins, Pachuca and
Guadalajara. Fourth in the Mexican Prototype Cup (C2), with one win at
1994: Runs in the National Nissan Formula winning at Monterrey and Mexico
1993: Runs four races in the National Formula.
1992: Champion in the US Formula Russell Mazda, 9 wins in 12 races. This
brings about his debut in the Indy Lights series, at 17 years of age, with
Brian Stewart Racing team at Laguna Seca where he qualifies eight and runs
fifth when he has to retire.
1991: Mexican karting champion. Runs at the world karting championship in
1990: Mexican karting champion. Runs at the world karting championship in
1989: Mexican karting champion. Runs at the world karting championship in
1987/88 Starts racing karts in Mexico.
Indy Lights: Career Starts: 34
Best Career Finish: 1st - Miami 1999
Best Career Start: 1st - Miami 1999; Long Beach 2001; Kansas 2001
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