Tracy Excluded From 1999 Season Opener Fontana, CA (October 30, 1998) - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy will be excluded from the 1999 FedEx Championship Series season opener as a result of infractions stemming from an incident at the Oct.
Tracy Excluded From 1999 Season Opener
Fontana, CA (October 30, 1998) - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy will be excluded from the 1999 FedEx Championship Series season opener as a result of infractions stemming from an incident at the Oct. 18 Honda Indy, CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach announced Friday.
Dallenbach cited Tracy for blocking (CART Rule Book reference 8.12), unjustifiable risk (8.13) and unsportsmanlike conduct (6.1) for his part in an incident that resulted in contact with Michael Andretti during the Honda Indy in Surfers Paradise, Australia.
Tracy will be excluded from the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota scheduled for March 21, 1999 at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex in Homestead, Fla. The stewards have the authority to exclude a competitor pursuant to 2.4.1B and 10.5 of the CART Rule Book. There was no disciplinary action against Andretti meted out by Dallenbach.
Dallenbach reached the decision after he and his stewards reviewed the tapes of the incident extensively and met with the parties involved on two occasions. He initially interviewed the parties following the Honda Indy and again Friday morning at California Speedway.
"Every driver in the FedEx Championship Series is well aware of the section of our rule book regarding blocking," Dallenbach said. "You are allowed one move and after that any other move is considered blocking. Paul's block on Michael resulted in contact at about 180 miles per hour and we are fortunate that it did not result in a more severe consequence."
The penalty assessed to Tracy marks the first time in CART history that a driver will be excluded from a FedEx Championship Series race.
"There were several factors that went into reaching this decision," Dallenbach said. "In addition to the high risk of the move by Paul, we reviewed his on-course incidents and penalties incurred throughout this season and felt a more stringent penalty was appropriate."
Tracy was placed on indefinite probation by Dallenbach for unjustifiable risk following the June 7 race at Detroit for an incident that resulted in contact with Christian Fittipaldi.
While on probation, he was fined $20,000 and excluded from final qualifying for unjustifiable risk June 19 in Portland for an incident with Michel Jourdain Jr. that resulted in contact during provisional qualifying. It was the first time in CART history that a driver was excluded from competition during a race weekend.
Five events later, Dallenbach removed Tracy from probation following the Aug. 16 race at Road America.
Tracy, however, was fined $5,000 following the Oct. 4 event in Houston for not maintaining proper behavior and sportsmanship as well as for physical contact as a result of an altercation with his owner, Barry Green, in the pits. In 18 events this season, Tracy has been involved in 10 separate incidents that resulted in contact with fellow Champ Car competitors.
Dallenbach said that Tracy will not be returned to probationary status, but he will be monitored and any further transgressions could result in additional penalties.
Source: CART Online