Emerson Fittipaldi, driving a Chevrolet-powered March, passed pole-sitter Roberto Guerrero on the 43rd lap yesterday and went on to win the Cleveland Grand Prix in race-record time.

Fittipaldi, a two-time Formula One driving champion, led all but one of the last 38 laps in defeating runner-up Bobby Rahal by 11.63 seconds. He averaged 128.421 mph for 80 laps of the 2.48-mile road course at Burke Lakefront Airport, surpassing the 127.106 of last year's winner, Danny Sullivan.

The victory was Fittipaldi's first of the season and third in four seasons on the CART Indy-car circuit.

Fittipaldi, 40, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, had an 18.45-second lead over Rahal with 15 laps to go, so he could ease off slightly to conserve fuel.

"I was concerned, for sure," Fittipaldi said. "The last few laps, I took it easy on the engine trying to save fuel."

Rahal, who drove a Lola-Cosworth, had won the previous two CART races, at Portland, Ore., and the New Jersey Meadowlands, and his last four motor sports events overall. The second-place finish in his home state of Ohio padded Rahal's lead over Michael Andretti in the season driver standings. Rahal, the defending champion, has 90 points to 78 for Andretti.

Guerrero, whose Saturday qualifying speed of 136.287 mph broke Sullivan's 1986 record of 135.144, moved high on the 12-turn course's first backstretch on lap 43, giving Fittipaldi room to slip underneath and take the lead. Fittipaldi surrendered it only on the 54th lap, when he was in the pits.

Al Unser Jr., winner of the 1985 Cleveland race, finished third in a March-Cosworth, 24.35 seconds behind the leader. Sullivan, winner in 1984 and 1986, was fourth in a March-Chevy, about five seconds behind Unser Jr., and Guerrero was fifth in a March-Cosworth, another three seconds back.

"Halfway through the race, my foot started going numb and I couldn't feel the pedal at all," Guerrero said. "The car held together very well."

Michael Andretti drove the last of the six cars that finished on the lead lap. His father, Mario, was in sixth place, just ahead of Michael, until his car began smoking and forced him to drop out five laps from the end.

There were no accidents, but mechanical problems put 10 of the 25 cars out of the race.

French Grand Prix:

Britain's Nigel Mansell won on the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet a second straight year as France's Alain Prost missed another chance for a record 28th Formula One victory.

Mansell held off his Williams-Honda teammate, Nelson Piquet of Brazil, to win in 1 hour 37 minutes, averaging 117 mph. Piquet was 7.711 seconds behind over the 80-lap, 189.6-mile course.

Prost was third, more than 55 seconds behind Mansell.

Mansell gained his second Grand Prix victory of the season and ninth of his career after setting a practice lap record in qualifying Friday.

"We needed a win and everything went according to plan," Mansell said. "Everything went much better now and I'm looking forward to the British Grand Prix {next Sunday}."