CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: American Spirit race report

American Spirit duo earn another pair of top-ten finishes It was a rain-drenched day at Road America which included several hours of delays as the thunderstorms washed away the chances of a 60-lap race. The American Spirit cars of Jimmy Vasser...

American Spirit duo earn another pair of top-ten finishes

It was a rain-drenched day at Road America which included several hours of delays as the thunderstorms washed away the chances of a 60-lap race. The American Spirit cars of Jimmy Vasser and Ryan Hunter-Reay held their starting positions of seventh and eighth respectively during the 2:00 pm eight-lap yellow start to the Mario Andretti Grand Prix, but the race was red-flagged due to the continuing downpour.

The race was re-started at 5:40 pm. Vasser and Hunter-Reay kept their noses clean thru two first lap incidents, which collected Tracy, Jourdain, Montiero and Manning (Manning continued). The drivers entered the pits under yellow track conditions to make their first pit stop. The pits were packed and it would be a race out. Both crews suffered air jack failures creating longer pit stops and costing the drivers several positions on the track. Vasser and Hunter-Reay rebounded as did their crews with perfect pit stops on the second round.

The veteran and the rookie fought hard throughout the 34-lap event, both drivers passed several cars and brought their Ford-Cosworth/Reynard's home in perfect condition and in the top-ten, a fete that was proven to be difficult to accomplish under the unusual track conditions.

JIMMY VASSER, #12 American Spirit/Ford-Reynard/Cosworth

Vasser on the race:

"I am really disappointed because of all of the events we have run this year; this is the event where we went into the race thinking we really have a shot. The car was great in the dry and terrible in the wet. We tested at Mid-Ohio and it went well, we should run strong next weekend

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #31 American Spirit/Ford-Reynard/Cosworth

Hunter-Reay on the race:

"We came in with the best-ever team effort over the whole weekend. Everyone did just a great job. Today, things fell apart. It was my first time racing a Champ Car in the rain. It was going great the first few laps, running sixth. Then we had to come in for the race in the pits under yellow and unfortunately both American Spirit cars lost several positions. I had a couple of great passes in the second stint; it was a lot of fun. Once I got to Jimmy, I was stuck there because we had equal cars that were definitely no good in the rain. We will take everything we learned this weekend and the progress we made to Mid-Ohio, where I think we should do very well."

-astj-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Mario Andretti , Ryan Hunter-Reay