IndyCar »

Tracy takes title in crazy Lexmark Indy 300.

Paul Tracy wrapped up the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford despite finishing 13th in Sunday's chaotic Lexmark Indy 300 while series rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed an emotional, if unexpected victory for Stefan Johansson's fledgling American Spirit team.

Both Hunter-Reay and Tracy came away ultimately victorious from a day where the pressures of the 2003 title chase were all too apparent from the start.

Both Tracy and his lone remaining Championship rival Bruno Junqueira saw fortunes swing for and against them as some blatant Newman-Haas Racing team orders twice saw polesitter Sebastien Bourdais allow second place starter Junqueira to get the jump at the start of what was originally intended to be a 65-lap race around the 2.795-mile Surfers Paradise street circuit.

Due to Junqueira's outrageous break at the head of the field, CART officials waved off the first start but things hadn't improved much one lap later as the Frenchman again held off the accelerator until Junqueira had edged ahead. To make matters worse, as the field pounded down to turn one under racing speed for the first time, Bourdais nerfed third place starter Tracy into a spin that caused uproar in the PF Racing garage and put the red mist well and truly over the Canadian driver's eyes.

Thankfully Tracy was able to get restarted without losing a lap although the race was already over for Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia, who found himself squeezed into the wall by Adrian Fernandez as the field took evasive action.

When the race resumed again on lap five Junqueira once again got a great jump over Bourdais while Tracy, who took the green flag in 18th position, passed the soon-to-retire Tiago Monteiro and Geoff Boss almost immediately and then deposed of Rodolfo Lavin, Gualter Salles, Jimmy Vasser and Mario Haberfeld before sweeping past Darren Manning for eleventh place going down the back straight on lap seven!

After ten laps Junqueira held a comfortable three-second lead over his obedient teammate with Alex Tagliani, Adrian Fernandez and Mario Dominguez squabbling for third place when the overcast Australian skies began to deposit their first drops of rain.

At first the precipitation was just enough for Junqueira to back off his pace slightly, but as he exited the second chicane on lap 12 the water levels were suddenly greater and he almost snapped into the outside wall. Bourdais, travelling slightly faster in second place, wasn't so lucky and he lost control and smacked the inside wall before spinning across the track, wheels spinning furiously, creating a smokescreen for everyone else.

Luckily Tagliani, Fernandez, Dominguez et al managed to work their way successfully around the stranded Frenchman but while the field ran under safety car conditions the rain quickly worsened into a downpour and within two laps, coin sized hailstones were thrashing pit road.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul Tracy and Player`s Forsythe Racing celebrate their season opening victory in St Petersburg.
Paul Tracy, Player`s/Forsythe Racing Lola-Ford, 2003 Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, American Spirit Team Johansson.
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 24, 2014 to win the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, is congratulated by teammate Helio Castroneves after capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014 with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (center), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 with second-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya (left), driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Huggies Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. The finish was good enough for Power to retake the drivers points championship lead from teammate Helio Castroneves. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (right), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. Sebastien Bourdais (left), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.