ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 19, 2001) -- Arciero-Blair Racing with driver Max Wilson competed in round 14 of 21 events in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) race today on the 4.048-mile permanent road course. The FedEx Championship Series...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 19, 2001) -- Arciero-Blair Racing with driver Max Wilson competed in round 14 of 21 events in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) race today on the 4.048-mile permanent road course. The FedEx Championship Series continued today at Road America, the track known as the "Four Mile Challenge."
Wilson, driving the Ford-powered Driving 101 Lola, started 19th for the race that should have covered 222.640 miles and 55 laps. However, the Midwest weather played havoc on the CART community and a very heavy downpour canceled some of the pre race activities and delayed the start of the race. The race was delayed to eliminate the running water that would eventually prove to be a problem for the drivers. Once the race started it was as a yellow flag race. The rain slowed and the officials started the race on lap 5. Now the green flag was dropped the CART drivers raced on a track that was not completely dry, was very wet in one area. The drivers were unable to see ahead of themselves after going through the "Kettle Bottom" area because it had standing and running water running across it. Wilson was running behind Bryan Herta when Herta braked hard in the middle of the straight. Wilson was unable to avoid Herta and went over the top of him. Wilson and Herta were unable to finish and placed 25th and 24th respectively; both drivers were uninjured.
Shortly after this incident the race was red flagged. A torrent of water continued over the Kettle Bottom area even after the rain subsided. A decision was made by the CART officials to, once again, to try to clean up the area and remove the excess water and debris that proved hazardous for Wilson and Herta. The red flag period was lengthy; racing was resumed under yellow and finally went on to green flag conditions and eventually was called a timed race.
"I didn't see what happened, actually. All I know is I ended up on top of Bryan (Herta)," said Wilson. "It seems like he braked suddenly and I could not see and that was it. It is hard to say right now if the officials should have waited to start the race because the rest of the track was pretty much dry. But one part still had a lot of water, mud and dirt on it so I couldn't see. I don't think anybody else saw too much either. Perhaps they should've waited a little bit longer even if it meant doing more laps under yellow."
The FedEx Championship Series continues in two weeks on Sunday, September 1 in the Pacific Northwest. The Molson Indy will be held on a temporary street course in Vancouver, Canada. Check local listings. It will also air on the CART Radio Network and on CART's official website, at www.cart.com.