CHAMPCAR/CART: Gold Coast Honda Race Report

It was a letter perfect day for Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti, as the Honda-powered driver posted his third victory of the season at today's Honda Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. The Scott started from the pole and led 49 laps to...

It was a letter perfect day for Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti, as the Honda-powered driver posted his third victory of the season at today's Honda Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. The Scott started from the pole and led 49 laps to score a maximum 22 championship points

With title rival Juan Montoya scoring no points after crashing on lap 48, Franchitti now leads into the California Speedway season finale with a nine point lead as the pair of Honda drivers fight for the 1999 season championship.

'Tony Kanaan finished sixth today in the middle of a multi-car battle that also included Michael Andretti and Paul Tracy and was one of the highlights of today's race. The trio were separated by less than a second at Cho checker after a race-long position Swapping contest

In addition to Montoya, Gil de Ferran and his Walker Racing teammate, Naoki Hattori also crashed out of the race, all without unjury while Jimmy Vasser's day ended with mechanical problems on lap 44.

DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 Team KOOL Green Honda) Pole qualifier, Race winner, 3rd win of the season, new PPG Cup points leader, 14th win of the season for Honda. "I got jump on Bryan (Herta) at the start. At first it was just a case of getting and with it staying consistent and not making any mistakes. After the first round of stops, I saw (Juan) Montoya back there (in second) and I thought this might get interesting. But after Juan went out, then I knew I couldn't make any mistakes at all to maximize the advantage we had, Max (Papis) was fast at one point, but be had a different fuel strategy, I guess. It was a perfect day, really,"

TONY KANAAN (944 McDonald's Championship Racing Honda) Started 8th, finished 6th: "We had a very good car and I believe that if we had qualified a little better, we could have finished in the top five. I tried to get past Mike (Andretti) the whole race, but I couldn't do it, He used all his '24 years experience' against my 'little' experience! But be was very clean. And that guy (Paul Tracy), he can brake later than anyone else! But he was very good to race with, too. I learned a lot today. I think it was one of my best races this year, even if it was just for 6th place."

PAUL TRACY (#26 Team KOOL Green Honda) Started 4th finished 7th. "We lost something in the electronics or boost right after the first stop. I was really slow coming on to the straight. As soon as I went full throttle it would stumble, but the car handled great. I could catch right back up again under braking. At the end of the day we're seventh and scored points. I'll take it."

Juan MONTOYA (#4 Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 6th finished 16th (not running, contact), "I'm mostly disappointed because we had a winning car, and a chance at finishing on the podium I locked the rear brakes, turned around and tagged the wall."

JIMMY VASSER (#12 Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started l7th, finished 18th (not running, fuel pressure). "We just missed the setup. Either the tires pressures or ride height was off, because the car was bottoming everywhere, especially on full tanks. Then Mark Blundell and I got together at one point and I went down a lap. Finally I lost power, pulled off and parked it,"

NAOKI HATTORI (#15 Alpine/Walker Racing Honda) Started 20th finished 20th (not running, contact). "I did not have a good start, and dropped down several places. It was a disappointment. But the middle of the race, the car was not so bad and I was having an OK race. It was not easy to pass, but I was holding my own. And then I was hit from behind. There was no room to pass and he tried and put me out. Should have been a better race."

GIL de FERRAN (#5 Valvoline/Cummins/Walker Racing Honda) Started l41h, finished 27th (not running, contact). "I'm at a lost to explain it. The car turned right with no warning . I had a good start, and I thought we were in for a good race. It was much too short a race. Long trip, short race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Mark Blundell , Naoki Hattori , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing