CHAMPCAR/CART: Brack endures Lausitz for fourth oval victory

Motorsport.com - Kenny Brack endured 500 miles with perfect pit strategy to take his fourth victory of the season, and to reclaim the FedEx Championship lead once again. Brack was at the front consistently, battling for the lead with ...

Motorsport.com - Kenny Brack endured 500 miles with perfect pit strategy to take his fourth victory of the season, and to reclaim the FedEx Championship lead once again.

Brack was at the front consistently, battling for the lead with Patrick Carpentier, Tony Kanaan and Alex Zanardi, and had clearly the best fuel economy of the front-runners.

"I was trying to make sure that we wouldn't have to pit one more time," Brack recalled. "I think that paid off very well for us, but it's unfortunate we had the events we did in the end. I hope Alex is OK."

The Swedish series rookie also recovered from a near-spin, as he was tapped by Brune Junqueira, who was about to be lapped. Brack lost the lead to Carpentier as he struggled to get his car back on track and back up to speed, but succeeded in staying in contention.

However, CART's European debut was marred by a severe accident just a dozen laps prior to the checkered flag. As Zanardi exited the pits after getting a splash of fuel, he lost control of his car coming off the pit exit, and slid across the track.

Alexandre Tagliani, running close behind the leaders, could not avoid the Italian's sliding car, and slammed heavily into Zanardi, with the impact breaking Zanardi's Reynard chassis in two pieces just behind the front suspension.

Tagliani appears to have suffered only minor injuries, and was awake and alert, but undergoing further tests and X-rays.

However, Zanardi's condition is, as of this writing critical. He has serious leg injuries resulting from the broken footbox on his car, and a significant loss of blood. He is breathing unassisted and responding to some directions, but he has been airlifted to the Berlin-Marzahn clinic for further treatment.

As the race finished under the full-course yellow, Brack was followed across the finish line by his Team Rahal teammate, Max Papis and, in third place, Team Players' Carpentier.

The Canadian had also fully leaned out his fuel mixture in order to avoid having to stop one more time. His third place was his fourth podium in the last six races, and he moves from ninth to seventh place in the standings, only three points from fifth-place Scott Dixon.

Dixon, by far the series' most impressive rookie driver -- apart from Brack, who joined the series as the reigning IRL champion -- finished in ninth place to move ahead of Dario Franchitti in the championship points.

Meanwhile, Brack's 21 points -- including a point for most laps led -- move him eleven points clear of Gil de Ferran in the standings.

The Penske driver had a thoroughly forgettable day, finishing in eighth place. However, this was still better than his teammate and championship rival, Helio Castroneves, who finished with but a single point, for eleventh, enabling Michael Andretti to move into fourth in the points, four points ahead of the Brazilian.

The race was well attended, with over 86,000 spectators, although, given the track's 120,000 capacity, there were still a lot of empty seats apparent around the tri-oval track.

The teams now move across the Channel to England, where CART will stage its second-ever European race at the Rockingham oval next weekend. Brack will need another podium performance at this, the penultimate oval of the year, in order to ensure that the de Ferran does not run away at the following three road course events.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack