CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto Race Day Track Notes

Molson Indy FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Sunday July 19, 1998 The weather here in Toronto is beautiful with plenty of sun and blue skies greeting the early arrivals to the track. Today's CART on-track activities begin with the ...

Molson Indy FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Sunday July 19, 1998

The weather here in Toronto is beautiful with plenty of sun and blue skies greeting the early arrivals to the track. Today's CART on-track activities begin with the traditional 30-minute warm-up session taking the track at 10 a.m. followed by the Green Flag for the Molson Indy at 2 p.m.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10 a.m. to start the final practice session of the weekend. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 87 degrees F. (31 degrees C.) and an ambient temperature of 78 degrees F. (26 degrees C.).

At 10:10 a.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 100.488 mph (1:01.655), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (100.360 mph; 1:01.734) and #10 HEARN (99.942 mph; 1:01.942).

RED FLAG waves at 10:10 a.m. after #33 CARPENTIER enters the run-off at Turn 3 and stalls the car. CART safety workers tow the car back to the pits.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:13 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 10:16 a.m., #27 FRANCHITTI enters the run-off at Turn 8 and stalls the car. CART safety workers get the car re-started and FRANCHITTI returns to the track with no damage to the car.

RED FLAG waves at 10:17 a.m. after #18 BLUNDELL stalls on-track at Turn 6. CART safety workers tow the car back to the garage area.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:20 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 10:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 100.583 mph (1:01.597), followed by #2 UNSER JR (100.447 mph; 1:01.680) and #6 ANDRETTI (100.360 mph; 1:01.734).

At 10:25 a.m., 25 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #21 KANAAN with a lap of 101.044 mph (1:01.316), followed by #20 PRUETT (100.761 mph; 1:01.488) and #11 FITTIPALDI (100.756 mph; 1:01.491).

At 10:29 a.m., #10 HEARN logs the fastest lap of the session with a lap of 101.361 mph (1:01.124). HEARN is quickly replaced at the top by #20 PRUETT with a speed of 101.880 mph; 1:00.813), who is then topped by #12 VASSER with a lap of 102.041 mph (1:00.717).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:30 a.m. with #12 VASSER the fastest driver with a lap of 102.041 mph (1:00.717), followed by #20 PRUETT (101.880 mph; 1:00.813) and #27 FRANCHITTI (101.757 mph; 1:00.886). Twelve drivers are within one second of the fastest lap clocked by VASSER. Secondary cars were utilized by #26X TRACY and #40X FERNANDEZ. CART drivers logged 201 laps during the session.

At 1:47 p.m. the Canadian and American National Anthems are sung by Camilla Scott.

At 1:59 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by honorary starter, Brett "Hitman" Hart.

At 2 p.m., the PPG Pace Cars begin to roll on the first of three pace laps.

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:05 p.m. for the start of the 95-lap Molson Indy. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 106 degrees F. (41 degrees C.) and an ambient temperature of 81 degrees F. (27 degrees C) at the start of the race.

#27 FRANCHITTI leads the first lap of the Molson Indy by .707 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #5 DE FERRAN, and #12 VASSER. #11 FITTIPALDI drops from fifth to seventh on the first lap and #21 KANAAN falls from seventh to ninth.

On lap 5, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by 2.605 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, #6 ANDRETTI, #5 DE FERRAN, and #12 VASSER. #10 HEARN has moved up from 13th to tenth at this point of the race.

On Lap 8, #34 SALLES spins at Turn 5 and continues on course without damage to the car.

On Lap 10, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by 2.240 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #5 DE FERRAN, and #12 VASSER.

On Lap 12, #77 MEIER brushes the wall at Turn 1 and continues on course.

On Lap 15, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by 2.954 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #5 DE FERRAN, and #12 VASSER.

Also on Lap 15, #10 HEARN spins at Turn 1 while battling #20 PRUETT for ninth place. HEARN keeps the engine running and continues on course but falls from tenth to 13th position. #7 RAHAL takes over tenth place.

On Lap 16, #98 JONES spins at Turn 1 and continues on course without damage to the car.

On Lap 20, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by 2.962 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #5 DE FERRAN, and #12 VASSER.

On Lap 22, #2 UNSER JR. pits and falls from 12th position to 22nd.

On Lap 25, the running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading by seconds over #1 ZANARDI, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #5 DE FERRAN, and #12 VASSER.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 25 after #19 JOURDAIN JR. and #36 BARRON make side-to-side contact entering Turn 3. JOURDAIN JR.'s car becomes briefly airborne before sliding to a stop in the middle of the track. #2 UNSER JR. was also involved, with his car sustaining front nose damage. #1 ZANARDI is briefly detained in the track blockage allowing #6 ANDRETTI to pass him.

On Lap 26, the top 11 cars pit under the full course Yellow Flag with #27 FRANCHITTI winning the race off of pit road, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY and #1 ZANARDI. #18 BLUNDELL has a fire break out in the rear of the car while in his pit area. The crew quickly extinguishes the fire and BLUNDELL returns to the track. #11 FITTIPALDI stalls leaving his pit and his crew has to push start him to get him back into the race. #5 DE FERRAN makes contact with #11 FITTIPALDI while exiting his pit, damaging the wheel and stalling on pit road. DE FERRAN subsequently withdraws from the race.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 30 with #27 FRANCHITTI leading by .733 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY, and #1 ZANARDI. #33 CARPENTIER spins off of Turn 8 coming to the Green Flag but gets the car restarted and continues on course. CARPENTIER subsequently withdraws from the race on Lap 33.

YELLOW FLAG waves on lap 33 after #18 BLUNDELL stalls at the entrance to pit road with an electrical problem. BLUNDELL subsequently withdraws from the race.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 35 with #27 FRANCHITTI leading #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On lap 36, #9 LEHTO brushes the wall at Turn 6A and continues on course.

On lap 37, #9 LEHTO makes contact with the tire barrier at the outside of Turn 6. The driver is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains damage to the right side. LEHTO is uninjured in the incident but the car is too damaged to continue.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 40 for the incident involving #9 LEHTO. CART safety workers remove the car from the track.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 44 with #27 FRANCHITTI leading by .436 over #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 45, #21 KANAAN passes #26 TRACY going into Turn 1 to take fifth place.

On Lap 48, halfway through the race, the top-ten running order is #27 FRANCHITTI leading #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, #21 KANAAN, #26 TRACY, #7 RAHAL, #20 PRUETT, #10 HEARN and #3 RIBEIRO.

On Lap 50, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 1.788 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #21 KANAAN.

On Lap 55, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 1.831 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #21 KANAAN.

Also on Lap 55, tenth-place #3 REBEIRO pits with transmission problems and subsequently withdraws from the race.

On Lap 60, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 3.468 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #21 KANAAN. ANDRETTI has just lost over two seconds to leader FRANCHITTI after ANDRETTI locks up the brakes after entering Turn 8 too fast.

On Lap 61, #21 KANAAN pits and has a brief fire break out during his pit stop and subsequently withdraws from the race.

On Lap 63, #6 ANDRETTI pits and hands second place to #12 VASSER. ANDRETTI returns to the race in 12th place.

On lap 65, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 6.884 seconds over #12 VASSER, #7 RAHAL, #1 ZANARDI, and #7 RAHAL.

On Lap 66, #27 FRANCHITTI pits and hands first place to #7 RAHAL. FRANCHITTI returns to the race in fourth place. #12 VASSER also pits and returns to the race in fifth place.

BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 67 to #19 JOURDAIN JR. for a pit road speed violation.

On lap 68, #34 SALLES attempts to pass #2 UNSER JR. on the inside going into Turn 3 and makes contact with the right side of UNSER's car. SALLES becomes briefly airborne before spinning into the run-off. UNSER JR. continues on course and pits his car.

On lap 70, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 12.251 seconds over #12 VASSER, #7 RAHAL, #1 ZANARDI, and #7 RAHAL.

On lap 75, #27 FRANCHITTI leads by 11.676 seconds over #12 VASSER, #7 RAHAL, #1 ZANARDI, and #7 RAHAL.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 79 after leader #27 FRANCHITTI spins coming out of Turn 8 and stalls in the middle of the track. #6 ANDRETTI barely slides by to the left between the nose of FRANCHITTI's car and the wall. #12 VASSER follows ANDRETTI through but his right rear tire runs over the nose of FRANCHITTI's car. #26 TRACY slides into the left side of teammate FRANCHITTI and stalls. CART safety workers get the car re-started and TRACY continues on course, but FRANCHITTI withdraws from the race with brake problems.

On Lap 80 and under a full-course Yellow Flag, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading, followed by #1 ZANARDI, #12 VASSER, #7 RAHAL, and #8 HERTA.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 84 with #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI.

On Lap 85, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by 1.910 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, #12 VASSER, #7 RAHAL, and #8 HERTA.

On lap 86, #98 JONES brushes the wall at Turn 1 and continues on course. JONES subsequently pits and withdraws from the race with suspension problems.

Also on Lap 86, a light drizzle begins to fall in Turn 1.

On Lap 90, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by .674 seconds over #1 ZANARDI, #12 VASSER, #7 RAHAL, and #8 HERTA.

On lap 91, #6 ANDRETTI leads #1 ZANARDI by .521 seconds.

On Lap 92, #6 ANDRETTI leads #1 ZANARDI by .532 seconds.

On Lap 93 and while entering Turn 3, #1 ZANARDI out-brakes #6 ANDRETTI and slides in front of ANDRETTI exiting the corner. ANDRETTI has to hesitate on the throttle and ZANARDI takes the lead. ZANARDI leads by .727 seconds over ANDRETTI at the stripe.

WHITE FLAG leads by 1.285 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI.

CHECKERED FLAG waves for ALEX ZANARDI, the winner of the Molson Indy by 1.921 seconds over #6 MICHAEL ANDRETTI. Third place goes to #12 JIMMY VASSER, with #7 BOBBY RAHAL coming home fourth, and #8 BRYAN HERTA finishing fifth.

ZANARDI averaged 87.274 mph in today's victory and completed the race in 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 24.08 seconds. There were 12 cars on the lead lap at the end of the race with 18 cars still running at the Checkered Flag. There were six leaders during the race with DARIO FRANCHITTI leading the most laps with 76, followed by MICHAEL ANDRETTI with 13, ALEX ZANARDI with 3, and BOBBY RAHAL, BRYAN HERTA, and CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI each leading one. There were six lead changes during the race. The caution flag flew four times today for a total of 16 laps.

ALEX ZANARDI ties the CART record for consecutive victories at four, set by AL UNSER JR. in 1990. This is ZANARDI's sixth win of the season and his 14th of his career. ZANARDI has now take over sole possession of eight place on the all-time CART career victory list. Today also represents the sixth victory in a row for Honda and Target/Chip Ganassi Racing and the tenth victory in a row for Firestone tires. ZANARDI also extends his PPG Cup Points lead over now second-place teammate JIMMY VASSER. ZANARDI has 106 points to VASSER's 98.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI's second place finish is his fourth podium of the season and his second in a row. ANDRETTI's other podiums came with a victory at Homestead, and a second place at both St. Louis and Cleveland.

JIMMY VASSER finishes third today and this represents his third podium of the season. VASSER previously won at both Nazareth and Milwaukee. This is also VASSER's tenth consecutive top-eight finish.

MAX PAPIS's eighth-place finish matches Toyota's best ever road course finish. The other eighth was Juan Manuel Fangio at Road America in 1996. This also matched his best ever finish as he previously also finished eight at Michigan in 1997. PAPIS also gave TOYOTA it's seventh points-paying finish in 11 races.

Quotes from today's top three finishers of the Molson Indy follow.

ALEX ZANARDI, Target Reynard Honda: "I have to say very honestly that a lot of things di dn't go right today. I spun, I got stuck in an accident and I had problems with my tires. Nevertheless, I'm here in the middle of these two guys [in the winunbelievable. [Passing Andretti] It wasn't me going super fast as much as Michael having nothing left to compete with me. I came up in the turn and saw his car go a little wide and it left me with and opening. I said 'I'm gonna try it,' and that's the way I got the position. [On his duel for position with Vasser] I wasn't expecting any favors from my teammate. The only thing I'm disappointed in is that we had a chat before the race and I told him in advance what I was going to do in that situation, then I was wondering 'Why the hell did I tell him?' I never found anybody so difficult to pass. I cannot feel sorry for how much luck I'm having right now. Obviously, I can't complain. Things are going right for me and obvioussly I'm very happy because I'm able to take advantage."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford: "It was can interesting day. In the beginning, Dario [Franchitti] just took over. Poor vDario. He was in a class of his own today. I don't think anybody had anything for him. After the last restart, the car got so loose, I could barely keep it straight, especially under braking. I was just a sitting duck for Alex. I didn't know how I was gonna hold him off without taking him out. If I would have moved over any more, I think we would have crashed, which I wasn't about to do. Alex just took advantage. It was very disappointing."

JIMMY VASSER, Target Reynard Honda: "It was pretty uneventful in the first half. I lost my rear tires toward the end of the first stint, so I came in and we made an adjustment and the car was pretty good. It wasn't fantastic like Dario's car, but I didn't have any complaints. The thing with Dario I saw the yellows, but I was carrying too much speed on the concrete. I couldn't make it to the inside, which is where I thought you needed to go. I ran over his nose, and after that I had a vibration. It was good to get two Target cars on the podium and move into second in the championship."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, KOOL Reynard Honda: "What can I say? I just can't believe it. The brakes were a worry all day. We had similar problems in qualifying yesterday. We thought the pads were low, so we swapped rotors and discs on the car. The brake pedal was going long in the longer runs. When I spun in Turn 1, I caught the throttle as I was braking. It's really disappointing because the Team KOOL Green guys did a great job in the pits."

A record-attendance for this weekend's Molson Indy has been set for all three days. Friday's crowd peaked at 44,526 versus the 1997 total of 43,975. Saturday's total was 52,224 versus the 1997 total of 51,221 and Sunday's total was 71,456 versus the 1995 total of 69,283. The three day total attendance was 168,206.

This concludes the Pit Notes for Round 11, the Molson Indy. We'll see you next week at the high banks of Michigan Speedway for Round 12 of the FedEx Championship Series, the U.S. 500 Presented by Toyota!

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Manuel Fangio , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing