HIGHCROFT RACING'S #9 ACURA TAKEN OUT AT HEIGHT OF MOSPORT GRAND PRIX BY TAFEL RACING'S #73 PORSCHE
Event: Grand Prix of Mosport Qualifying Session
Date: August 26, 2007
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Stefan Johansson, running strong in second position between the two Penske Porsches, was hit hard in the left rear of the #9 Acura ARX-01a by the #73 Porsche about an hour into the Grand Prix of Mosport. After spinning and hitting the tire wall, Johansson drove the car back to pit lane. Unsure at first as to the extent of the damage when Johansson came in, it soon became apparent to Crew Chief Robin Hill that the team was done for the day. The suspension had been badly damaged in the collision and was deemed irreparable in the time remaining.
Johansson, though obviously disappointed with the outcome, said, "this happens all the time and unfortunately, this time we were on the receiving end. There have been similar occasions throughout the year and we've been lucky before, but this time we weren't. I had passed the same group of cars five times before in the same corner and there was never a problem. The quick line was on the outside for the prototypes and the GT's were down the inside. I went down the outside and just got absolutely walloped in the side by this car. I had no idea what happened. I was far enough in front of the Porsche that I couldn't see what was going on." Upon watching the replay, it appeared that the Porsche lost control and, as Johansson pointed out, had he been two-tenths of a second faster, the Porsche would have gone straight off the track. As bad luck would have it, the #9 Acura was directly in the line of the out-of-control #73 car.
David Brabham, who never got the chance to get in the car today, said, "this is especially disappointing because the car was running really strong. Stefan was keeping up with everyone and had made a great pass on Sascha Maassen. We were looking very strong this race, the car was very competitive. It's a shame but these things do happen. We'll build on this and move to the next race at Detroit where we'll look for a much better result."
This was a hard blow for the Highcroft team who, after struggling with variable track conditions and tempestuous weather all week, had finally found the sweet spot between the car and the track. Johansson had the final words on the race. "The Highcroft Acura was a really strong car. Today's just a tough break for the team and Acura."