Lola takes win ...
Lola takes win #115 in wild Vancouver race Franchitti leads Tracy to first 2002 victory.
Dario Franchitti won the 13th annual Molson Indy Vancouver in his #27 Team KOOL Green Lola/Honda, the Scot surviving a crashfest that saw only seven of 18 entrants finish. The event at Concord Pacific Place began under yellow flags on a cool (60- degree), cloudy day and was halted entirely when a four-car melee on lap 92 blocked the 1.781-mile track at the eighth turn. Paul Tracy finished in second place, arriving at the flags in the #26 Team KOOL Green Lola/Honda just 1.239 seconds behind his teammate. Tony Kanaan earned third place with the #10 Pioneer/WorldCom Lola/Honda, helping Honda achieve its first sweep since Laguna Seca in 2000.
Taking his second Vancouver victory (the first was in 1998), Franchitti expressed emotion in winning at good friend Greg Moore's home circuit. "This is emotional. The win is awesome. Team KOOL Green had a perfect weekend here, reversing our 2000 result (when Tracy beat Franchitti). I tried not to make any mistakes and concentrated, after the red flag, on making a good restart. I didn't want to let Paul get close." Tracy, who earned a point for leading the most laps, "I think we're really back to our 2000 form," the Canadian stated. "We had a good car on used tires, but not quite as good on cold, new Bridgestone tires." Kanaan was glad to be "with good friends on the podium. We expected the least today and achieved the most. I never lost patience and faith that we could hang in there."
Despite an 18th place start and a spin on the formation lap, Michel Jourdain Jr. came back to take fourth place in the #9 Gigante Lola/Ford. "We knew we had a good car on Friday (sixth in qualifying), but we had a lot of problems Saturday. We got the setup back for the warmup and the car was fast." Michael Andretti, involved in a turn 1 incident once the green flag flew, finished sixth, six laps down in the #39 Motorola Lola/Honda, trailing Patrick Carpentier to the flags. He made 10 pit stops as his crew worked to get his car back to racing form. "It was a long day. The Team Motorola guys kept putting band aids on the car and we finally brought it home." The final finisher was rookie Mario Dominguez, using his spare #55 Herdez Lola/Ford to take tenth place.
The CART FedEx tour takes one weekend off and then commences on a marathon four weekends of racing, from traditional Mid-Ohio and Road America venues, to Montreal and, finally, on the Labor Day weekend, to the streets of Denver, CO. With point leader Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Lola/Toyota) out of the race, Franchitti now holds second place, with 84 points to da Matta's 122.