Michael Andretti posted his first victory in a year by winning the rain-postponed 500-kilometre Japanese round of the Championship Auto Racing Teams
Andretti posts first win of season

MOTEGI, Japan, May 14 (AFP) - Michael Andretti posted his first victory in a year by winning the rain-postponed 500-kilometre Japanese round of the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series on Sunday.

"The rain may have been a blessing in disquise," said the American, who ran out of fuel two years ago here after leading 17 laps over the 2.5km (1.6 mile) Twin Ring Motegi oval.

"There was a 90 percent chance that we would be OK, but you don't want to mess with the 10 percent chance of a problem. I think the team could have been winning a couple of times before this year.

"We are only 36 points out now and there is a long way to go in the championship. It feels good to finally break the ice," added Andretti.

Andretti covered 201 laps in one hour 58 minutes 52.201 seconds beating Dario Franchitti of Britain by 0.546sec and Roberto Moreno of Brazil by 2.279sec further back.

Andretti took advantage after pole-sitter and last year's overall champion Juan Montoya of Colombia was sidelined by mechanical difficulty on the final pit spot.

With the victory, the first since winning at Illinois in May last year and his 14th on an oval out of 39 wins, Andretti was tied with Al Unser for third in the all-time race winner category.

Montoya was seventh while two-time defending champion here Adrian Fernandez of Mexico was 10th.