INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- Patrick Huisman, former four-time Supercup champion (1997 -- 2000) took the lead on lap seven of the 16-lap Porsche Michelin Supercup race ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003 -- Patrick Huisman, former four-time Supercup champion (1997 -- 2000) took the lead on lap seven of the 16-lap Porsche Michelin Supercup race #1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and went on to an easy five-second win in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer. But what happened behind him was anything but easy.
The three drivers are still in the hunt for the season championship - Wolf Henzler, Pierre Kaffer and Frank Stippler are all still in contention - but both Henzler and Kaffer were taken out in a single incident involving fellow German Klaus Graf. Henzler and Kaffer were fighting for position when they touched and both went off the track. Henzler's car was damaged, and although he ran a few more laps, he could not finish. Kaffer got right back on the track after the incident, but hit Graf on the right sid e, taking both cars out.
Former Indy car competitor Allesandro Zampedri finished second -- his best Supercup finish of the year.
Meanwhile, Stippler was having his own problems, starting with an ABS brake failure at the green flag which flat spotted the tires, causing a significant vibration at high speed. It caused him to fall from the lead in the early laps to fifth place by the end of the race. In addition, Stippler took a stone in the windshield, causing glass to fly in the cockpit and limiting his vision. For him to pick up fifth place points and now lead the championship by 12 points is quite fortunate considering his proble ms.
The two American guest drivers, Road & Track writer Kim Wolfkill and freestyle motocross champion Travis Pastrana, both ran well, with Wolfkill finishing 11th and Pastrana 16th. Travis and Kim were running together when Pastrana tried to pass Wolfkill on the outside of a corner and spun his car. He recovered without losing a lap, and finished 16th.
Antonio Sabato, Jr., the actor and model who was racing for one of the independent teams, crashed his Porsche during this morning's qualifying session, and did not start the event. He will not start Sunday's race as well.
The final race of the season for the series will take place in Indianapolis Sunday morning.
All Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars are equipped with a 3.6-liter engines that produce 390 horsepower and can travel from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than four seconds. With the exception of the guest cars, which are prepared by the Porsche factory, all the en tries are private teams which own their cars and hire professional drivers. The Porsche factory has built 200 of these cars in 2003 for Porsche racing customers around the world, including entries in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Europe, Asia and Australia, as well as The Speed Channel World Challenge and Grand-Am Cup series in the U.S. The current 911 GT3 Cup car is the fourth generation Cup car, with the original Carrera 2 Cup car producing 265 horsepower when it was introduced in 1990.