CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Lausitz race notes

BRACK COLLECTS HIS FOURTH VICTORY OF THE SEASON AND RECLAIMS THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS LEAD - Kenny Brack claimed his fourth victory of the season and teammate Max Papis finished second as Team Rahal claimed the top two spots in "The American ...

BRACK COLLECTS HIS FOURTH VICTORY OF THE SEASON AND RECLAIMS THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS LEAD - Kenny Brack claimed his fourth victory of the season and teammate Max Papis finished second as Team Rahal claimed the top two spots in "The American Memorial" at the EuroSpeedway. Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier finished third as Ford-Cosworth swept the top three finishing positions. However the victory was marred by an incident on lap 143 involving Alex Zanardi and Carpentier's teammate, Alex Tagliani. Zanardi spun on his outlap following a splash-and-go pit stop and slid onto the track in Turn One where he and Tagliani made heavy contact. With the victory, Brack takes the lead in the drivers' championship with 131 points, followed by Gil de Ferran [120] and Michael Andretti [115].

FORD-COSWORTH NOW WITH FIVE CONSECUTIVE OVAL VICTORIES - With Kenny Brack's victory today in "The American Memorial," Ford-Cosworth has now scored victories in the last five CART oval events. Including today's result, Ford and Cosworth has also scored oval-track victories at Japan [Brack], Milwaukee [Brack], Michigan [Patrick Carpentier] and Chicago [Brack].

NOTEWORTHY - Kenny Brack has now won both CART races held overseas thus far this season [Japan] - CART and the EuroSpeedway have re-named today's race "The American Memorial" in honor of the victims of the World Trade Center attach - on behalf of its entire community, CART will make a donation to the World Trade Center Relief Fund in the amount of $500,000, which is equivalent to the purse of today's race. In addition, the Championship Drivers Association, which consists of the CART drivers, has also expressed its support of the WTC Fund with a donation of $50,000 - today's race was not broadcast live in the United States on ESPN out of respect to the victims of Tuesday's tragedy. The race will now be shown at 1:00pm (ET) Monday, September 17th, on a tape-delayed basis.

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 1st - "We had a pretty good car all day. We tried to make sure that we didn't have to pit one more time in the end and I think that strategy paid off very well for us, obviously. It's very unfortunate the incident near the end happened and I hope Alex is okay. But for Team Rahal it was a needed result in our quest for the championship this year. So, our condolences to all the people that were involved in the incident in the United States and also to Alessandro [Zanardi]."

TALK ABOUT YOUR INCIDENT IN TURN ONE WHEN YOU SLID INTO THE GRASS. "It was a very unfortunate incident, but we know that we have to lap people on this course and you try to do so with care when you have the lead. But you cannot stop because of a car in front of you because then your lead is going to disappear and you'll have problems with the car behind. So you have to overtake when you think it's safe. It was a big moment; I nearly lost the car. I somehow managed to keep it together and only lost one spot on the track."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 2nd - "The racing today was very good. I think the Miller car was one of the fastest cars out there and I'm proud of the job my guys did for me. But things have been very difficult for everybody I'm sure and for people with heart and a lot of feeling like me, they have been even more difficult because motor racing is not the most important thing in my life. I'm praying for all the people in the United States and I'm praying for my friend, Alessandro [Zanardi] that he's going to be okay. Today we were out there fighting with the will to succeed and the will to achieve our dreams and these I think are the most important things. It's very difficult to say something, but I just pray that he's okay. Thanks to everybody for the effort to put this great event together despite all the difficulties. And I can tell you that I pray every day and every night for all those people and I hope that they will find them all alive."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 3rd - "It was a long day today. It was a good race and we seemed to be able to make a lot of passes and I think the show was excellent. This was the Memorial 500 and our hearts are with people in the US and it was a good race except for an unfortunate incident at the end of the race involving my teammate. But I heard that he's going to be okay, just a few bruises here and there, and I hope that [Alex] Zanardi is okay. I'm very happy to finish third today and we'll go onto the next one."

ORIOL SERVIA (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 5th - "For sure we were going to make it to the end and I'm not certain who in front of me, maybe Michael [Andretti], could also go to the end. After starting 20th, I thought we ran a very, very good race. We passed a lot of people at the start [moved from 20th to 11th] and then we got good mileage and ran a very smart race from there. It's a shame for what happened here at the end and I hope that they [Alex Tagliani and Alex Zanardi] are okay. But I'm very happy. We've had some good finishes in the last five or six races and we're finally getting everything together. A podium finish would've been really nice, but next week we have another chance so we'll go for it then."

DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN TAGLIANI AND ZANARDI? "No. I just saw the Player's car in the air and I actually thought it was just that car that was involved, but then I saw both of them against the wall."

HOW DID THE CAR HANDLE IN TRAFFIC WITH THE NEW WING PACKAGE? "Well, it's really nice. The wing is the right step, at least for the aero package. I don't know if we're maybe going too fast in the corners now, but it's a lot nicer and a lot safer to get close to people now. To move up to fifth I think the key was to attack a lot in the first three laps and from then on making no mistakes. We had perfect pit stops and a good fuel strategy and things worked out for us."

WITH THE LIMITED AMOUNT OF PRACTICE TIME, HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT SETTING THE CAR UP? DID YOU MAKE BIG ADJUSTMENTS DURING THE WARM UP OR DID YOU MAKE CHANGES AS THE RACE PROGRESSED? "We tried to have a car that was well-balanced and compromised in some areas. It was very consistent throughout the whole race and working on the [sway] bars and the [weight] jacker was enough. It was very good and I am very happy."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 17th - "I think we had a problem with the popoff valve because we were not getting any boost. The engine ran okay otherwise, but we weren't getting any power so there was a problem for sure. The car was very, very good at the beginning but it was just impossible to overtake without the boost and in traffic it was very easy for people to pass me."

HOW DID THE NEW WING PACKAGE WORK IN TRAFFIC? "It was much better and I'm very happy with this package. Hopefully we'll learn and see it again in a race down the line."

HOW WAS THE TRACK FOR RACING? "It's good, but I don't think there's a second [race] line. I didn't see much passing on the second line except for on the restarts. But after that everybody was running very close and very fast."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Alex Zanardi , Kenny Brack