CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver Race Day Track Notes

FedEx Championship Series Track Notes- Sunday September 6, 1998) - At 12:46 p.m., the Canadian and American National Anthems are sung by Tara MacLean. At 12:58 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by Honorary...

FedEx Championship Series Track Notes- Sunday

September 6, 1998) -

At 12:46 p.m., the Canadian and American National Anthems are sung by Tara MacLean.

At 12:58 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by Honorary Starter, Ross Rebagliati, Olympic Snowboard Champion.

At 12:59 a.m., the PPG Pace Car begins to roll with the field of 28 cars in tow for the first of three pace laps.

At 1:02 p.m., #16 CASTRO-NEVES makes a sudden pit stop and rejoins the end of the field on the second pace lap.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:05 p.m. to start the 90-lap Molson Indy Vancouver! Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 112 degrees F. (44 degrees C.) and an ambient temperature of 80 degrees F. (27 degrees C.).

#27 FRANCHITTI leads the first lap of the Molson Indy Vancouver followed by #8 HERTA, #1 ZANARDI, #21 KANAAN, and #6 ANDRETTI. #99 MOORE lost two positions on the first lap, falling from fifth to seventh.

During the first lap, #40 FERNANDEZ has a suspension piece come loose at the right, front wheel and FERNANDEZ pits to have it repaired. FERNANDEZ falls from 20th to 28th position.

On Lap 5, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by 4.841 seconds over #8 HERTA, #1 ZANARDI, #21 KANAAN, and #6 ANDRETTI.

Also on Lap 5, #77 MEIER makes contact with the wall at Turn 1 and immediately pits the car. MEIER subsequently withdraws from the race due to contact.

On Lap 7, #98 JONES and #16 CASTRO-NEVES make contact at Turn 1 but continue on course, both cars with slight damage.

On Lap 10, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by 4.594 seconds over #8 HERTA, #1 ZANARDI, #21 KANAAN, and #6 ANDRETTI.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 10 after 15th-place #33 CARPENTIER attempts a pass on the inside of #12 VASSER as the cars enter Turn 1. The drivers make side-to-side contact and CARPENTIER briefly becomes airborne before both cars make hard impact with the tire barrier at the outside of Turn 1. Though both drivers are uninjured in the incident, both cars are withdrawn from the race due to contact.

On lap 15, #1 ZANARDI spins coming out of Turn 4 as the cars start to pick up speed running to the Green Flag. ZANARDI avoids contact with the wall and CART safety workers get the car restarted. ZANARDI pits the car and re-enters the race in 24th position.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 17 to resume the race with #27 FRANCHITTI leading by .938 seconds over #8 HERTA, #21 KANAAN, #6 ANDRETTI, and #26 TRACY. #1 ZANARDI is on the lead lap but 34.548 seconds down to the leader.

YELLOW FLAG waves at Lap 20 after #98 JONES spins in the middle of Turn 9 and stalls. #34 VITOLO also spins coming off Turn 5. CART safety workers get both cars restarted and both drivers make their way to the pit area.

The running order on Lap 20 is #27 FRANCHITTI leading #8 HERTA, #21 KANAAN, #6 ANDRETTI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 21, the top nine cars pit under the Yellow Flag and 10th-place #16 CASTRO-NEVES takes the lead. #1 ZANARDI also does not have to pit as he came in on Lap 15 and is now up to eighth place.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 23 with #16 CASTRO-NEVES leading by 1.029 seconds, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #27 FRANCHITTI, #18 BLUNDELL, and #21 KANAAN.

On Lap 24, #24 GORDON and #9 LEHTO make side-to-side contact but continue on course without damage to their cars.

On Lap 30, the running order is #16 CASTRO-NEVES leading by 6.935 seconds over #2 UNSER JR., followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #18 BLUNDELL, and #21 KANAAN. #1 ZANARDI is now up to eighth, 17.920 seconds behind the leader.

On Lap 31, #7 RAHAL pulls off course at Turn 7 with smoke bellowing from the rear of the car. RAHAL subsequently withdraws from the race with an engine problem.

On lap 34, fifth-place #21 KANAAN passes #18 BLUNDELL to take over fourth place.

On Lap 35, the running order is #16 CASTRO-NEVES leading by 12.719 seconds over #2 UNSER JR., followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #21 KANAAN and #18 BLUNDELL.

On Lap 40, the running order is #16 CASTRO-NEVES leading by 16.755 seconds over #2 UNSER JR., followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #21 KANAAN, and #18 BLUNDELL.

On Lap 41, leader #16 CASTRO-NEVES stalls on course out of gas. CASTRO-NEVES had not pitted for the entire race before he stopped on-track.

On Lap 42, #26 TRACY passes #18 BLUNDELL to take over fifth place.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 43 for CART safety workers to retrieve the stalled car of CASTRO-NEVES.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 45 with the running order #2 UNSER JR. leading by .504 over #27 FRANCHITTI, followed by #21 KANAAN, #18 BLUNDELL, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 50, #2 UNSER JR. leads by .742 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, #21 KANAAN, #18 BLUNDELL, and #26 TRACY.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 51 after #10 HEARN attempts to pass #8 HERTA on the inside of Turn 1. The drivers make side-to-side contact and HERTA makes hard contact with the tire barrier at the outside of Turn 1. HEARN continues on course with slight damage to his car. #27 FRANCHITTI, #21 KANAAN, #26 TRACY, #99 MOORE, #5 DE FERRAN, and #11 FITTIPALDI; second through seventh place; all pit and #36 BARRON assumes the lead. Leader #2 UNSER JR. also pits and returns to the race in tenth place.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 54 with #36 BARRON leading by .265 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #20 PRUETT, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #21 KANAAN.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 55 after #18 BLUNDELL and #26 TRACY make contact at Turn 8 and BLUNDELL spins off the corner. #98 JONES slows to avoid the incident and #99 MOORE makes contact with the rear of JONES's car. MOORE becomes airborne and makes hard contact with the outside wall coming out of the turn. The wing flies off of MOORE's car and winds up in the cockpit of JONES's car. FITTIPALDI spins past the incident coming to rest in Turn 8. CART safety workers get the car restarted and FITTIPALDI continues on course but loses a lap in the process. BLUNDELL continues to his pit but stays on the lead lap. None of the front runners pit during the Yellow Flag and on Lap 60, the running order is #36 BARRON leading #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #20 PRUETT, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #21 KANAAN.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 61 with #36 BARRON leading #6 ANDRETTI. #27 FRANCHITTI passes #20 PRUETT to take over third place as both cars take the Green Flag.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 63 after leader #36 BARRON makes hard contact with the outside wall at Turn 8. Though the driver exits the car under his own power, the car sustains major damage and is out of the race. #6 ANDRETTI takes over the lead, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI and #20 PRUETT.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 65 with #6 ANDRETTI leading by .877 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, #20 PRUETT, #21 KANAAN, and #26 TRACY.

After a torrid battle between #20 PRUETT, #21 KANAAN, and #26 TRACY from laps 65 to Lap 67, #26 TRACY contacts the rear of KANAAN's car and KANAAN spins around in the turn with the right rear tire ripped off the rim. TRACY continues on course with slight damage to the nose.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 68 for CART safety workers to retrieve the car of #21 KANAAN.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 70 with #6 ANDRETTI leading by .586 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, #20 PRUETT, #26 TRACY, and #10 HEARN.

BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 71 to #26 TRACY for a safety inspection.

On Lap 72, #26 TRACY passes #20 PRUETT to take over third place.

On Lap 73, #26 TRACY pits to comply with the Black Flag and falls to 13th position.

Also on Lap 73, #10 HEARN slides into the tire barrier at Turn 1. HEARN is uninjured in the incident but the car is too damaged to continue and HEARN withdraws from the race.

On Lap 75, #6 ANDRETTI leads by .331 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, followed by #20 PRUETT, #1 ZANARDI, and #2 UNSER JR.

On Lap 77, CART Race Control announces that the race will be a timed race and that the Checkered Flag will be waved for the leader on the first lap after the 2-hour time limit has been reached.

On Lap 79, #27 FRANCHITTI takes the lead, passing #6 ANDRETTI on the inside of Turn 1.

On Lap 80, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 1.493 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #20 PRUETT, #1 ZANARDI, and #2 UNSER JR.

WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 85 for #27 FRANCHITTI, leading by 4.580 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #20 PRUETT, #1 ZANARDI, and #2 UNSER JR.

Also on Lap 85, #5 DE FERRAN slides off course into the tire barrier at Turn 1. DE FERRAN subsequently withdraws from the race due to contact.

CHECKERED FLAG waves on Lap 86 for the winner of the Molson Indy Vancouver, DARIO FRANCHITTI by 3.437 seconds over #6 MICHAEL ANDRETTI. #20 SCOTT PRUETT comes home in third place, with #1 ALEX ZANARDI in fourth, and #2 AL UNSER JR. in fifth.

There were five different leaders during the race with FRANCHITTI leading the most laps with 28, followed by CASTRO-NEVES with 20, ANDRETTI with 17, BARRON with 12, and UNSER JR. with 9. There were five lead changes during the race. There were 15 cars running at the end of the race with 12 cars on the lead lap. The Yellow Flag flew seven times for a total of 26 laps. The time of the race was 2 hours and .37 seconds.

The victory in today's Molson Indy Vancouver represents the second career win for DARIO FRANCHITTI in CART competition and his fourth podium finish. FRANCHITTI is also the Marlboro Pole Rollover Award winner, taking home $330,000 in rollover funds, added to $10,000 for the Marlboro Pole from Saturday's run, and $100,000 for the win. That's a total take of $440,000 for the Scotsman. This was the first time the rollover bonus has been won since ZANARDI accomplished the feat at Cleveland in 1997, a span of 21 races.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI finished second today, ANDRETTI's fourth runner-up finish of the season. ANDRETTI had previously finished second at St. Louis, Cleveland, and Toronto. This is also ANDRETTI's fifth podium of the 1998 season, adding to his win at Homestead.

SCOTT PRUETT came home third today, representing his third podium of the season. PRUETT had previously finished second at Portland and Mid-Ohio. This is also PRUETT's sixth top-six finish out of the last seven events.

ALEX ZANARDI is the 1998 PPG CUP Champion by virtue of his fourth place finish in today's Molson Indy Vancouver. ZANARDI has a 92-point lead with only 88 maximum points available to his challengers over the next four races. ZANARDI leads the PPG Points Chase, 218 to 126 over teammate JIMMY VASSER. ZANARDI is the third driver in CART history to win consecutive titles, a feat accomplished by RICK MEARS in 1981 and 1982; and BOBBY RAHAL, 1986 and 1987. ZANARDI becomes the fifth multiple champion in CART history as well, joining RICK MEARS, BOBBY RAHAL, AL UNSER SR., and AL UNSER JR. In addition, TARGET/CHIP GANASSI Racing becomes only the second team in history to win three PPG Cups. PENSKE RACING took the honor in 1981 through 1983.

The 12 laps that ALEX BARRON led today were the first laps led by Toyota in FedEx Championship Series competition. MAX PAPIS's ninth-place finish was the sixth consecutive points-paying finish on a road course for the small, four-car Toyota contingent.

Today's victory represents a series-best 10 wins for Honda and the 14th victory for Firestone in the 1998 FedEx Championship Series season.

The Budweiser Accelerator award was won by ARND MEIER in Saturday's competition. MEIER showed the largest jump in speed from practice to qualifying effort and as a result, $1000 will be awarded to the Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary for charitable use by Budweiser in MEIER's name.

Quotes from the top three finishers in today's Molson Indy Vancouver as well as from the 1998 PPG Champion ALEX ZANARDI and team owner CHIP GANASSI follow.

DARIO FRANCHITTI, KOOL Reynard Honda: "The start wasn't really too much of a problem. To do some yellow [caution] laps on warm tires, there was an incredible amount of pickup, even driving on the line. About 20 laps into the race, I could smell smoke and during the first yellow stop, I was trying to see where it came from. You can smell it now, but it's mingled with champagne, so it's not a problem. I tried to pass once and it wasn't there. It was close, I was on his inside and I figured I'd try it, but Michael just wasn't having any of it. Then I got a good run and after I got by, I went full rich and was able to pull away. We finally got the money. We've had a few chances. It feels pretty good. It's a great feeling to win two in a row, and to win on a street course after b eing so close. Every time in the car, you try to do your best. You get a rappo rt with your team; you get a little more used to driving the car and it just sort of all comes together. And we've been very competitive on road courses this season."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford: "It was a fuel consumption race, although it didn't start out that way. It turned out because of the way the yellows [flags] fell. I was being told to really conserve fuel and keep Dario behind me, and I said, 'Yeah, right. How do you do that?' He [Franchitti] got the word and perked up, and I didn't. Maybe it had to do with the fact that they didn't want to make a call about how many laps were left because of the two-hour time limit. I'm really disappointed. I went in [Turn 1] trying to protect my line a little bit. It had to do with me trying to conserve fuel, because that was one of the areas where I was trying to conserve, and he got a run on me. Alex [Zanardi] winning the championship is not a reflection of how competitive it is [in the series]. He was able to make the misfortune of others and turn it into good fortune for himself, which is how championships are won.

SCOTT PRUETT, Visteon Reynard Ford: "Today was a fuel mileage race. Races were won and lost in the pits, and the Visteon team did a great job for me today. It was up to the drivers to set your own pace and conserve as much fuel as possible. Michael and I pitted early, or at least earlier than most, and fortunately, the race came back to us."

ALEX ZANARDI, Target Reynard Honda: "When you do this job and compete at this level, it's important to listen to what people have to say. But you cannot worry about people's opinions about what you should or shouldn't do. It's important to me to do my job. I'm not going to Laguna just to have fun and celebrate, I'm going there to win the race, because I know I have a great race car and a great team behind me. I had a slight feeling [during the race about clinching the championship], but Chip [Ganassi] waited until there were three or four laps to go to tell me. [Regarding next year's plans] The important thing for me is to finish this season well and once things have been decided, it will be up to my employer to decide the strategy of how that will be announced. This is a great feeling and it actually comes at a beautiful period of my life. My wife is expecting it could happen any day and I want to dedicate this one to my kid, who maybe in the next few days will be starting the race of life."

CHIP GANASSI, owner, Target/Chip Ganassi Racing: "I've been blessed to have good partners and good employees and good people to help accomplish this. Believe me, no one person wins championships. I've been blessed to work with good people from the top down. I'm just the guy who's been able to put the ingredients together and then sit back and watch the pie bake. The kind of team I want to put out there is the kind team I'd want to drive for and that's what I've been fortunate enough to do thanks to the people I have surrounding me. I told Alex with five laps to go, 'You're in fourth place. You can stay where you are and win the championship, or you can go for it. And do you know what he said? 'We're going for it.' That, as much as anything, is why he's here today."

ALEX ZANARDI's clinch of the PPG Cup in today's Molson Indy Vancouver with four races remaining in the 1998 FedEx Championship Series season is the fastest any driver has locked up the honor in CART history. The previous record was from 1981 when RICK MEARS grabbed the title with three races remaining, with Bill Alsup finishing a distant second.

Source: CART Online

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing