FRANCHITTI FINISHES SECOND IN AUSTRALIA TO MOVE INTO SECOND OVERALL IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SURFERS PARADISE, Australia, (Oct. 18, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti scored his sixth podium of the season, finishing second to Alex Zanardi...
FRANCHITTI FINISHES SECOND IN AUSTRALIA TO MOVE INTO SECOND OVERALL IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
SURFERS PARADISE, Australia, (Oct. 18, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti scored his sixth podium of the season, finishing second to Alex Zanardi at the Hondy Indy in Australia. Originally scheduled for 65 laps, seven cautions turned the event into a timed two-hour race, three laps shorter than planned. Zanardi rolled across the finish line just 0.322 seconds in front of Franchitti under the final caution.
Franchitti started from the pole position, his fifth of the year, and a solid start allowed him to lead Zanardi for the opening 13 laps. The leaders dove into the pits on lap 13 when Michel Jourdain's spin brought out the first full course yellow. Zanardi beat Franchitti out of the pits and led the remainder of the race. Christian Fittipaldi claimed third place.
Meanwhile, Paul Tracy's race ended early when he climbed out of his KOOL Reynard-Honda after 45 laps. Tracy started fourth on the grid and was able to jump to third ahead of Fittipaldi on the first lap. Tracy was fourth when Michael Andretti hit him from behind on lap 34, which punctured left rear tire and damaged his suspension.
By finishing second today, Franchitti collects 16 points to total 160 for the season with only the season-finale left in Fontana. He moves 12 points ahead of Jimmy Vasser who suffered a DNF and falls to third overall with 148 points. Adrian Fernandez stands fourth overall with 142.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (Started 1st / Finished 2nd ; Currently 2nd in the PPG Cup standings with 160 points)
"We were just a fraction slower than Zanardi on the first stop and that was the difference. The only chance I had was on one of the re-starts. Other than that, I couldn't get close enough. Car to car, I think my KOOL car was quicker than Alex today. But he had nothing to lose and I had a lot to lose.
"So second place today is good. We've moved up to second in the championship and have a bit of a gap back to Jimmy (Vasser). You can't win them all, but it would be great if you could."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (Started 4th / DNF - 23rd ; Currently 13th in the PPG Cup standings with 61 points)
"Michael (Andretti) hit me in the rear on the back straightaway. He hit me so hard it punctured the left rear tire, bent the suspension and severed a rear brake line. So I was driving the car with only front brakes. Doing 190 mph down to 30 mph for the corners with no rear brakes, it's just not safe to be out there. I'm disappointed for the KOOL team. I had a good car and we were just trying to make the necessary fuel mileage to finish on the podium."
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