MONTEREY, Calif. (October 14, 2001) Local San Jose, Calif., team owner, Larry Blair and Arciero-Blair Racing competed today in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) event at scenic Laguna Seca Raceway. Driver Max Wilson competed in round...
MONTEREY, Calif. (October 14, 2001) Local San Jose, Calif., team owner, Larry Blair and Arciero-Blair Racing competed today in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) event at scenic Laguna Seca Raceway. Driver Max Wilson competed in round 19 of 21 in the FedEx Championship Series.
Wilson, driving the Ford-powered Lola sponsored by Driving 101, started the 83-lap event under conditions unusually hot for the coastal valley in Northern California. The weekend had proven difficult once again for the l ocally owned team; the similar and mysteriously shifting difficulties that occurred at Houston continued through practice and qualifying. Additionally, due to problems in the Saturday morning practice session, the team was unable to get its entry to the pit lane in time for the 30 minute qualifying session. Wilson had only nine minutes to qualify the Driving 101 entry. The young Brazilian was unable to put together enough consistent laps to give the team and race engineer Brian Berthold feedback to position the Arciero-Blair entry higher than its 24th starting position.
Throughout the whole race there were many more yellow flags than usual. A caution flag was flown on lap two; the track went back to green flag racing on lap seven. Wilson had moved up to 19th; on lap nine going into the last corner, he had direct contact with a fellow competitor. Bryan Herta was trying to avoid Casey Mears in the last turn before the straight. Mears, Herta and Wilson went off the track and into the dirt. Wilson was unable to continue due to suspension damage.
"Bryan hit me when Michael (Andretti) was overtaking us," said Wilson. "We were packed up for the green flag and we were all racing for a few laps. I tried to avoid Bryan but he came straight at me in the corner. He had also hit me a few laps before."
Arciero-Blair Racing now prepares to race on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia on Sunday, October 28. It is the feature event of the CART grand prix weekend on the temporary street course in Surfers Paradise. The broadcast time for the Honda Indy 300 in Australia, Round 20 of the FedEx Championship Series, has been changed. Originally slated to air live on ESPN at midnight ET on Sunday, Oct. 28, the race will now be broadcast via 13-hour tape delay on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1p.m. ET. The broadcast will continue to air on ESPN. Check local listings. It will also air on the CART Radio Network and on CART's official website, at www.cart.com.