Germany Race Report - 2001

The American Memorial Race Report

9/15/2001 8:41:21 PM

Honda Racing Report
Saturday, September 15, 2001

The American Memorial Race Report
Circuit: Eurospeedway (2.0-mile oval) Lausitz, Germany
2000 Winner: N/A (inaugural Champ Car race here)
Weather: Partly cloudy, mild, 61-degrees F

Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver              Team                Manufacturer   Laps Average Speed/Notes
01. 02. Kenny Brack         Team Rahal          Ford Cosworth  154 155.319 mph
02. 16. Max Papis           Team Rahal          Ford Cosworth  154 -0.154 seconds
03. 09. Patrick Carpentier  Forsythe Racing     Ford Cosworth  154 -2.804 seconds
04. 04. Michael Andretti    Team Motorola       Honda          154 -4.699 seconds
05. 20. Oriol Servia        Sigma Autosport     Ford Cosworth  154 -5.225 seconds
06. 26. Tora Takagi         Walker Racing       Toyota         154 -6.410 seconds
07. 10. Tony Kanaan         Mo Nunn Racing      Honda          154 -6.647 seconds
08. 01. Gil de Ferran       Team Penske         Honda          154 -9.262 seconds
09. 06. Scott Dixon         PacWest Racing      Toyota         154 -9.893 seconds
10. 11. Paul Tracy          Team KOOL Green     Honda          154 -10.324 seconds
11. 15. Bruno Junqueira     Target/Chip Ganassi Toyota         154 -12.987 seconds
12. 03. Helio Castroneves   Team Penske         Honda          154 -14.929 seconds
20. 22. Alex Zanardi        Mo Nunn Racing      Honda          142 not running - contact
22. 25. Shinji Nakano       Fernandez Racing    Honda          142 not running - mechanical
24. 17. Adrian Fernandez    Fernandez Racing    Honda          120 not running - mechanical
25. 05. Dario Franchitti    Team Green          Honda          115 not running - mechanical

Andretti Finishes Fourth in Germany, Zanardi Critically Injured

One of the most competitive races of the season, featuring seven different leaders and fights for position throughout the field was marred by a major crash that severely injured Honda-powered driver Alex Zanardi.

The two-time former series champion was having his best race of the season, leading 20 laps and contending throughout, when he lost control of his Mo Nunn Racing machine after a pit stop, spinning into the path of Alex Tagliani. The 200 mph impact shattered Zanardi's car and sent both machines hard into the first turn wall.

Zanardi was airlifted to a Berlin hospital for treatment of extensive injuries to both legs. He is expected to undergo surgery later tonight. Tagliani also is being held overnight for observation, but is believed to have escaped serious injury.

As of 7:40 p.m. local time today, Zanardi was undergoing surgery at Marzahn Hospital in Berlin to repair extreme damage to his lower extremities. He lost both of his legs in the accident - one above the knee and one below the knee. He also has a possible broken pelvis. He is breathing on his own, and has no other apparent internal injuries.

"We are devastated by the extent of Alex's injuries. But we are so very thankful that he is on his way to surviving such a tremendous impact. All of our thoughts and prayers are with Alex and his family. He has quite a battle ahead of him, but knowing what a fighter Alex is, we're confident he' ll be able to return home to be with his family and friends very soon."

The crash took place with just a dozen laps remaining, all of which were run behind the pace car. As a result, the leader at the time, Kenny Brack, went on to claim his fourth CART FedEx Championship Series win of the season, and moved back into the lead for the driver's championship by 11 points over Marlboro Team Penske's Gil de Ferran.

Michael Andretti finished fourth to continue his recent string of strong finishes, with Tony Kanaan, de Ferran and Paul Tracy also posting top-ten results today.

Driver's Championship (after 16 of 21 races)	Manufacturer's Championship
  1.  Kenny Brack		131  points		1.  Honda		257 points
  2.  Gil de Ferran	120			2.  Ford Cosworth	224
  3.  Michael Andrett	115			3.  Toyota		222
  4.  Helio Castroneves	111			
  5.  Scott Dixon		  86			
  6.  Dario Franchitti	  85
  7.  Patrick Carpentier	  83			
  8.  Cristiano da Matta	  78			Rookie of the Year
  9.  Roberto Moreno	  74			1.  Scott Dixon		85 points
10.  Tony Kanaan	      72			2.  Bruno Junqueira	50
11.  Paul Tracy		  68			3.  Tora Takagi		17
12.  Max Papis		  60			4.  Max Wilson		12
17.  Adrian Fernandez	  42
22.  Alex Zanardi		  24
26.  Shinji Nakano	  10

Michael Andretti (#39 Team Motorola Honda) Started 4th, finished 4th: "The team did a great job with the strategy today. We were equal pace with the leaders, but I think some of those guys got a little better fuel mileage. It was a case of who could stay out the longest on a tank of fuel and I ended up with one more stop, but we finished in decent shape and gained some (championship) points. The EuroSpeedway was very nice to race on, they've done a great job with this facility, it's just first class."

Gil de Ferran (#1 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) Started 1st, finished 8th: "Today was a tough day for us. The car wasnt handling very well, we really never found the right balance. We had understeer early in the race and then bottoming too much towards the end. But at the end of the day we have more important things to worry about, both with the crash today and everything in the U.S. earlier this week"

Paul Tracy (#26 Team KOOL Green Honda) Started 11th, finished 10th: "It was a tough day out there with competitive racing all day long. We were on a strategy to finish the race on just three stops and that forced us to constantly save fuel. Every stint, I struggled early but the car improved a bunch once the tire pressures came up and the fuel level dropped. The pre-race ceremonies honoring the victims back in America were fantastic. Everyone involved needs to be commended for the wonderful job."

Helio Castroneves (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) Started 3rd, finished 12th: "Turn two was my nightmare today. I had a lot of understeer there and that is where everybody was able to pass me. It's a shame that the race had to end under these circumstances. My thoughts and prayers are with Alex Zanardi and his family."

Dario Franchitti (#27 Team KOOL Green Honda) Started 5th, finished 25th (not running mechanical): "We had a mechanical failure out there and it was best just to pull off. It's a shame because we were on a good strategy and were looking at a good result. The crowd was fantastic today and the racing was competitive. It was great to get back to racing (after the events in America this week). For me to get back in the car and do what I do best, and do what I can to memorialize the victims, that was my own way to say 'I'm thinking of you.'"