CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: American Spirit race report

A tough event in the Books, American Spirit looks forward to Miami. Changing weather and track conditions made the American Spirit Reynard's tough lion's to tame this weekend. Despite the understeer and a slick track, Hunter-Reay battled the ...

A tough event in the Books, American Spirit looks forward to Miami.

Changing weather and track conditions made the American Spirit Reynard's tough lion's to tame this weekend. Despite the understeer and a slick track, Hunter-Reay battled the veterans in today's Centrix Grand Prix of Denver. He chased Alex Tagliani and Roberto Moreno for position up until his third pit-stop which was under yellow track conditions (due to Patrick Carpentier's spin). Hunter-Reay arrived in the pits for a short stop, looking for just enough fuel to finish the final 26 laps. In a battle for position in the pits, Hunter-Reay was cleared to leave his pit-stall when the fuel nozzle became stuck in the car. A massive fire broke out immediately, but the 31 crew and track fire crew extinguished the invisible, methanol fire within minutes. There were no injuries in the fire.

Vasser started the race in 13th position and was passed by Mika Salon on the start while avoiding contact. He re-passed Salo just a few laps later, bought also fought a loose car, making his charge through the field a tall order. Vasser had a strong first stop, but his luck faltered on the second stop, while exiting his pit stall, he and Paul Tracy collided. Vasser's right front wing and tire made contact with Tracy's left rear as Tracy entered his pitbox. There was no significant damage, but Vasser's #12 Reynard stalled during the incident. Vasser returned to the track one lap down, in 15th position. A late race-yellow allowed Vasser to get his lap back and he picked up four positions due to the retirement of other entries. He finished the race in 11th position.

JIMMY VASSER, #12 American Spirit/Ford-Reynard/Cosworth
Race Result: 11th

Vasser on Qualifying: "I guess just about everything that could go wrong went wrong today; it was a long race for sure. My car was getting better and better as the race progressed. By the end of the race, I the best car I have had all weekend. We hung in there and fought hard today but it was a tough weekend for sure."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #31 American Spirit/Ford-Reynard/Cosworth
Race Result: 15th (Pit Fire)

Hunter-Reay on the Race: "The Sparco equipment did a great job for me today. I was in the car with everything around me on fire, including me for about 10 -- 15 seconds and I have no burns anywhere and neither does anyone on my crew. I was told verbally and motioned to go, so I did, the next thing I knew, I felt a massive heat wave coming over me and realized I was on fire. We think there was something wrong with the redhead (fueling apparatus). It is a huge disappointment because we had very consistent race going today, I forced a couple of experienced drivers into mistakes and we definitely would have walked out of here with some points. We fought the car all weekend, it's been frustrating, but we can chalk it up to a learning experience and turn our focus to my home race in Miami, which I am really looking forward to."

-astj-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno , Mika Salo , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani