ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti had a weekend at Road America that they'd just as soon forget, as Tracy's day ended with contact on lap 6 and Franchitti's suffered a mechanical problem 14 laps from the...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti had a weekend at Road America that they'd just as soon forget, as Tracy's day ended with contact on lap 6 and Franchitti's suffered a mechanical problem 14 laps from the finish of the 45-lap race which was shortened due to time constraints.
The race started under a caution flag after a pre-race downpour left a significant amount of standing water on the track. When the green flag flew on lap 5, Tracy would have just one lap to run before being caught up in the aftermath of an incident between Bryan Herta and Max Wilson. While Tracy tried to get by on the inside of the racetrack, he was unable to avoid contact with Herta's sliding vehicle, and was forced to retire from the race.
The incident took place in the area of standing water that had caused the delayed green flag at the start of the race. The race was red flagged on lap 14 so CART could clear the water from the track on the back straight between turns 11 and 12.
When the race restarted almost 48 minutes later, Franchitti was back out on the track but without radio communication with the team. Then with just 14 laps to go, he suffered an engine problem that effectively ended his opportunity to collect championship points.
"I didn't see anything. I went into the puddle blind from the spray. When I came out of it, Max's (Wilson) car was on top of Herta and there was nowhere to go with the KOOL car. They were slowing down rapidly, I got on the brakes and because Max was basically attached to Herta's car, most of the track was blocked. I had nowhere to go. I hit Bryan's (Herta) car, bounced off the wall and that was it. The rest of the track was okay, but there was a really big stream of water flowing down the hill, under the barriers and across the track."
"It was an absolutely disastrous day. I was just trying to stay out of trouble early in the race, but I got knocked into a spin by Servia. Then prior to restarting the race after the red flag I lost the radio, which made it difficult to know when we'd go green and to communicate changes I wanted on the KOOL car during the pit stop. Then we had an engine problem that ended our race. All in all, today was just a disaster for our championship hopes." -TKG-