IRL: Indy Racing League news and notes 2005-10-03

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 3, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Wheldon, Andretti featured guests at Beam Family VIP Experience 2. Enge fifth in class at Petit Le Mans 1. Wheldon, Andretti featured guests at Beam Family VIP ...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 3, 2005

Today's IRL headlines
1. Wheldon, Andretti featured guests at Beam Family VIP Experience
2. Enge fifth in class at Petit Le Mans

1. Wheldon, Andretti featured guests at Beam Family VIP Experience: Newly crowned IRL IndyCar® Series champion Dan Wheldon was among the celebrities who attended the Beam Family VIP Experience at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Ky., on Oct. 3.

Wheldon, the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series title in the same season, was joined by Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti at the event.

Other celebrities included country music band Montgomery Gentry and actor George Wendt, best known for playing Norm on the long-running television show "Cheers."

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2. Enge fifth in class at Petit Le Mans: Panther Racing driver Tomas Enge took advantage of the off weekend to compete with Aston Martin Racing in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 1.

Enge, who teamed with Peter Kox and Pedro Lamy in the No. 58 DB9R, finished fifth in the GT1 class, 11th overall after losing 25 minutes having a driveshaft changed.

"We had the pace to win it for sure with the 58 car," said Team Principal George Howard-Chappell. "We are disappointed because we came here to win. After qualifying I thought we were a bit off the pace, but in the race, we had it. It was disappointing for everyone that we had the driveshaft problem because that was turning into a fantastic battle between the Corvette and ours. I was rubbing my hands thinking 'this is what it is all about!'"

Enge survived a collision with the Audi of J.J. Lehto in the sixth hour of the 10-hour, 1,000-mile event when the Finn tried to pass the Aston Martin.

"We did some adjustments during the race with the tires, and the track came to us later in the race," said Enge. "During the middle of the race, our car was the fastest, but unfortunately we had the problem."

"He was in the wrong place to pass me," Enge said of his accident. "I knew that he was behind me through the left turn, and when we came to the right turn, I thought he was not close enough to put the nose in, but he did."

The car suffered slight damage which affected the pace of Kox.

"The car got a bit of a hit when Tomas spun," Kox said. "We had the pace and the team did a good job."

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The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Toyota Indy 400 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the California 100 on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The ESPN2 race telecast will also be available live on ESPN360.com. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 20.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers J.J. Lehto , Michael Andretti , Pedro Lamy , Dan Wheldon , Peter Kox , George Howard-Chappell , Jim Beam
Teams Panther Racing