IRL: Watkins Glen: Panther Racing race report

Last-Lap Accident Sends Tomas Enge to 13th at The Glen Suspension Failure Ends Scheckter's Day in 20th WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.. -- An accident on the last lap of the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix forced RockStar Panther driver Tomas Enge out...

Last-Lap Accident Sends Tomas Enge to 13th at The Glen
Suspension Failure Ends Scheckter's Day in 20th

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.. -- An accident on the last lap of the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix forced RockStar Panther driver Tomas Enge out of what would have been a sixth or seventh-place finish. Instead, a tangle with Helio Castroneves sent Enge back into a 13th-place result. Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter experienced a suspension failure and ended the race in 20th.

Enge qualified for the race in 12th, but quickly moved forward at the start of the 60-lap event. He was in tenth place within the first three laps and climbed even higher shortly thereafter. After the fuel probe failed to engage on his last pit stop the rookie lost several key seconds in the field, but Tomas was still in the hunt. He climbed from 11th and into ninth before the final restart on Lap 56, and then passed two more cars and moved into seventh.

It was on the 60th and final lap when Enge and Castroneves were battling for the sixth position. Tomas moved his No. 2 RockStar Chevy along the left side of Helio as they prepared to enter the bus-stop chicane. The two cars tangled on the entry of the turn and made heavy contact with the retaining wall. Enge was unhurt, but disappointed with missing a chance at another solid finish.

Scheckter also jumped two positions at the drop of the green flag -- moving from his starting spot of 10th and quickly into eighth place. But another good run would end early for the 25-year-old when a left-front suspension failure sent him into the sand on the left-side of the bus-stop chicane and

The IndyCar Series will have two weeks off before wrapping up the season on Oct. 16th at California Speedway. That race will be broadcast live on ESPN, at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

Tomas Enge:

"I was fighting with Castroneves late in the race and trying to overtake and stay as close as possible to have less drag on my RockStar car. After the last restart I pulled along side of him and we touched. I don't' know if he turned into me or if I turned into him, I have to see a replay, but it's a real shame for us and a shame for Helio because he hasn't finished a road course race. We were fighting for a good position and I had a very, very fast Chevy today. I got past two or three people on every restart but we lost some important positions in the pits as well. We made great improvements all weekend from Friday right up until the race and it's just a shame for everybody at Panther and especially the RockStar team.

Tomas Scheckter:

"For sure, it's a big disappointment what happened. I was starting to brake going down the backstraight, and I felt a massive vibration. Obviously, I was quite concerned. Next thing I know, the left front is off the ground and I had no control left. It's a shame what happened. We'll go back and have a look to see what caused the problem and get it fixed for the next race. I have to thank my Pennzoil guys for their hard work this weekend. We'll come back strong in California and hopefully finish the year right with a good finish."

Panther Tracks: Pennzoil Panther Race Engineer David Cripps has engineered three drivers to Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year awards: Lyn St. James (1992), Christian Fittipaldi (1995), Tora Takagi (2003), and Cripps now works with the 2002 co-Rookie of the Year Tomas Scheckter ..... Tomas Scheckter was named Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year in 2002, and scored his first IndyCar Series victory in the same year at Michigan International Raceway ... Panther has a total of 15 IndyCar Series victories .... Panther Racing won back-to-back IRL Championships in 2001 & 2002 and the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Championship in 2003 ... A total of eleven drivers have started a race for Panther: Sam Hornish Jr. (44), Tomas Scheckter (32), Scott Goodyear (30), Tomas Enge (12), Townsend Bell (11), Buddy Lazier (6), Mark Taylor (6), Dave Steele (2), Dan Wheldon (2), Billy Boat (1) and Robby McGehee (1).

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor , Tomas Enge , Robby McGehee , Buddy Lazier , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Christian Fittipaldi , Tora Takagi , Townsend Bell , Dan Wheldon , Lyn St. James , Dave Steele , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing