CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green Gateway report

Madison, Ill. (September 17, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti both suffered gearbox failures and failed to finish today's FedEx Championship Series race at Gateway International Raceway. Tracy started third and...

Madison, Ill. (September 17, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti both suffered gearbox failures and failed to finish today's FedEx Championship Series race at Gateway International Raceway.

Tracy started third and ran in the top three for most of the race, before his gearbox failed on lap 208 (of 236 laps) while running in second place. Tracy's gearbox failure caused his rear tires to lock and he skated up towards the wall, making slight contact with his right rear tire and causing it to deflate. His incident brought out the race's only full-course caution and he circled the track under yellow before stopping on lap 211, when the TKG crew replaced all four tires and assessed the damage before sending him back out. Unfortunately, Tracy had lost fourth and fifth gears and had also bent an upper A-arm (suspension) on the right rear. The crew called him back to the pits and he withdrew from the race.

Franchitti's day was even shorter, as he retired with a similar gearbox failure on lap 62. Franchitti had been battling a loose car, but he lost fourth and fifth gears when he missed a downshift. The gearbox problem, combined with the ill-handling car, forced Franchitti to retire.

Juan Montoya won the race, his third of the season, by 11.804 seconds over Patrick Carpentier who posted his best finish of the season. Third place went to Roberto Moreno.

Gil de Ferran finished eighth on the day, but retains the points lead with three races to go. He has 137 point to Moreno's 129 and Michael Andretti's 127. Tracy has 122 points for fourth place, while teammate Dario Franchitti is in 11th place with 92 points.

The series heads to Houston in two weeks, where Team KOOL Green's Tracy is the defending champion and Franchitti was the winner in 1998.

PAUL TRACY , #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
(Started 3rd / Finished 18th / 4th in standings with 122 points)

"When I downshifted going into the turn, the gearbox started locking up and I slid into the gray and brushed the wall. That's what flattened the (right rear) tire. But our big problem was the gearbox. We only had a couple of gears left. I really feel bad for Team KOOL Green because we had a really good car and we were hanging around the top three all day. All we were looking for was a solid finish. But now we'll pack it up and head to Houston, where Team KOOL Green has been really strong."

DARIO FRANCHITTI , #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
(Started 4th / Finished 24th / 11th in standings with 92 points)

"The KOOL car went terribly loose just after the first few laps. I was trying to hang on and make it to the stop, but it just got undriveable. That's why we came in early (lap 31), to try to do something about it. Even on the straight, we had trouble under braking with the car getting very nervous. We came in to try to fix that, but it really didn't get any better. It's a tough day here when the car is loose. Then I missed a downshift and it broke the gearbox. We shouldn't have to be concerned about the gearbox on an oval, but it proved to be a big problem. I only missed one downshift and that was it, the gearbox was gone."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti