CHAMPCAR/CART: Detroit Sunday corner worker report

1995 PPG INDY CAR WORLD SERIES Race No. 8 ITT AUTOMOTIVE DETROIT GRAND PRIX June 11, 1995 by: Kris B Mandt for the SpeedNet By now you already know the outcome of the IndayCar race, so I won't try and fill you in on those details. Here are...


by: Kris B Mandt for the SpeedNet

By now you already know the outcome of the IndayCar race, so I won't try and fill you in on those details.

Here are a few highlights of the last day of the 14th Detroit Grand Prix: We finailly got together with our friend Vicki VanderWell, Vicki works for PPG Motorsports. We only got a few minutes to talk with her, but she did say that she will be back in Iowa for a visit soon. I will interveiw her and post that to SpeedNet later.

Also got to meet Paul Haney who puts out TV Motorsports. Paul works on Indy weekends as the press agent for Summit Motorsports #20 (Doug Boyer) Indy Lights team. Paul has alot of tech. savey and talking with him was a joy. He along with Jeff Braun have written a book that will be sold via Classic Motorbooks the end of July, the books title is: Inside Racing Technology. I order a copy of it from him today and after I get it read I'll post a "book report".

The Indy Lights race begain with a nasty incident. One of the cars in midpack touched wheels with another. Got airbrone and went sideways into the catch fencing at turn 1, right in front of the turn 1 grandstand. The driver was transpored to the hosp. but was released after being checked over. ESPN will be televising this race tape delay. Tape this race folks... The top 4 were: Buhl, Moore, Ward and Firestone.

Blimp wars... the Met Life blimp was the first one flying around Sunday morning with the Goodyear blimp arriving about two hours later. The two craft were criss-crossing the skys above the Belle Isle race track all bay long with the Met Life blimp always a little higher and off to one side of the Goodyear blimp.

Lots of planes towing banners. The same banner has been flown for the past two days wrong. The banner proclames "Mercedes Benz offical car of IndyCar" the funny part was that for the second day the logo has been upside down.

I was told that there will be no in-car telem. shown this race... bummer. However I was right about the speeds as they come by us at 7B. Last year Gordon was going buy there at 175-183mph. One of the officals with IndyCar came out during the morning warm up with a speed gun and he told me the the speeds were running in the 183-190 range.

At 7B (if you saw the race, we are on the back straight just before you saw the Goodyear sign on the fence) there is no fencing on the wall. Our passes have NFW stickers on them. From where we stand with our flags the cars are only about 6 feet away with only the width of the concrete wall beween us and them. If you want a real rush yellow flagging an IndyCar race is the way to go. When you have the yellow, you turn your back to the on comming traffic and look downstream. The blue flagger and you are face to face. However if you see the blue flagger move to get out of the way of something flying at you, it's almost to late for you to get moved out of the way. It gives you a whole new perspective on life...

After the racing was over the Firestone Hosp. folks were real nice to us. They give us over 2 cases of beer and all the Firestone Racing hats we could carry.

26 workers got together at Papalis Pizza in Detroit's Greek Town area. All the DMVR group was there along with our friends from the Detroit region. As we were enjoying the pizza (great pizza BTW) and fellowship, in walked Lyn StJames and her husband Roger Lessman. I asked Roger how the CNG speed record car was comming along and he told me that Bob Riley has the car just about done and they will be making their attempt on the world wheel driven record in July. Lyn was asked to autograph a lot of hats, but the topper was when one of the group took off his worker ProBan suit and handed it over to get her to sign it. Her name now joins some of the greats on his worker whites (Robert- one of those autographs on the suit was Sennas).

As we figured that we had embarrassed her enough, one of the DMVR workers decided to pick up the tab for her and her husband. We then got ahold of a pizza box and all 26 of us autographed it for Lyn and presented it to her along with chanting "full time ride". She thanked us all and seemed to be really touched.

I'll post my final thoughts after seeing the race tape...

/end --- =FE OLX 2.2 =FE SpeedNet: Motorsports at the speed of thought! AUTOSPORT= S BBS: 310-641-9627

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bob Riley