Huisman avoids early chaos to win Porsche Michelin Supercup race INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- Series leader Wolf Henzler of Germany missed the chance to seal the Porsche Michelin Supercup title as four-time series champion Patrick...
Huisman avoids early chaos to win Porsche Michelin Supercup race
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- Series leader Wolf Henzler of Germany missed the chance to seal the Porsche Michelin Supercup title as four-time series champion Patrick Huisman won the race Sept. 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Huisman beat DeWalt Racing teammate Alessandro Zampedri, an Indianapolis 500 veteran, to the finish by 4.8 seconds. Cyrille Sauvage finished third in the first of two races for the world's fastest single-marque international sports car series this weekend at Indianapolis. Henzler's race ended when slowed to a stop on the back straightaway on Lap 11 of the 16-lap race.
Starting from the pole, Huisman attempted to defend his position by veering hard right on the green light, but the attempt failed as Frank Stippler, winner of four races in the 2003 series, and Pierre Kaffer both went past.
"It was a very lousy start," Huisman said. "I think it was the worst start I'd ever had. From there, I'd never have guessed I'd be P1. Zampedri was really charging hard. It was pretty rough. I made a little mistake, and Henzler came by, and he started to push tougher."
The race's main incident came on the fourth of 16 laps. Kaffer and Henzler made contact, forcing Kaffer wide left on to the grass. As Kaffer rejoined the track, he made heavy contact with the car of Klaus Graf. Both ended in the gravel trap and out of the race.
The lead changed on lap seven when Huisman finally forced his way past Stippler and immediately began opening a gap as Stippler, Zampedri, Sauvage and Xavier Pompidou contested the minor placings.
"When they went up, I was in the third position, and I was sure something was going to happen because Stippler was so slow," Huisman said. "He was brake testing and doing everything he could to slow me down. After that, it was so easy to get to Stippler on the course.
"He was nervous and didn't push too hard. Then I made quite a hard move on him, and we didn't touch, but after then he saw me coming. First he turned in, and then he opened again on turn number 8, and that was it. After that, it was so easy to drive away and do my own race."
Zampedri made the race's other decisive move on Lap 12, outbraking Stippler and Sauvage into Turn 1 to take second place.
Journalist Kim Wolfkill was the best-placed of the three American competitors in 11th place, with motocross superstar Travis Pastrana a creditable 16th in his first four-wheeled race. Actor-model Antonio Sabato Jr. did not start following damage to his car in the morning's qualifying session for race two, which takes place Sunday at 10:40 a.m. (EST).