HARD LUCK FOR TEAM KOOL GREEN IN BRAZIL RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (May 10, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy both made early exits in today's running of the Rio 400 in what looked like a very promising race. Franchitti...
HARD LUCK FOR TEAM KOOL GREEN IN BRAZIL
RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (May 10, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy both made early exits in today's running of the Rio 400 in what looked like a very promising race. Franchitti held the pole, while Tracy was moving through the fiel
d quickly but both suffered DNF's. Franchitti was credited with 19th and Tracy 25th.
Tracy was running a strong race, moving up consistently from ninth on the grid. He was in second place when Gil de Ferran tried to make a pass heading into turn one. De Ferran dove low to the inside and collected Tracy's KOOL Reynard-Honda bringing both cars to a rest on the 40th lap of 133.
Franchitti, who started from the pole, was the victim of an engine failure which ended his day on lap 91. He was leading the race when he first pitted on lap 89. He rejoined in eighth place on lap 90, but was forced to call it a day on the next lap.
Greg Moore won today's race in an exciting duel with Alex Zanardi, crossing the finish line 0.427 seconds in front of the Italian. As a result, Moore remains the points leader with a 71-67 advantage on Zanardi. Adrian Fernandez, who was third in the race, is currently third overall with 55 points. Franchitti is eighth with 26 points, while Tracy is 10th with 20 points.
Dario Franchitti, #27 Team KOOL Green Reynard/Honda/Firestone:
"What can I say? We used a different fuel strategy that would have worked, but we had to come in a few laps early because we had problems with the car. We could have stayed out at least three or four more laps which would have played right into our hands."
Paul Tracy, #26 Team KOOL Green Reynard/Honda/Firestone:
"The car was good. I was just waiting for the pit stops. It's tough to get by Michael (Andretti) and Greg (Moore), but I knew my guys would do a good job. We left in fourth and moved up to second. It was a bad move by Gil (de Ferran). It was too early in the race to pull off a pass like that. I was in front of him and he tried to make a dive down the inside. There was no way. I think he just locked up and drove his car into the side of me."
Barry Green, Team Owner on today's race:
"Paul had a great start, he picked up a couple of positions in the pits and then he had a great restart. I guess Gil (de Ferran) got a little aggressive on the restart. It was bad luck. I think Paul would have had a great day. We took a slightly different strategy with Dario's fuel. I think it would have worked out just perfect. We had the yellow right when we wanted it. Unfortunately we had the overheating problem that put us out. Not quite what we expected."
- 30 -