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1994 Australian FAI Indycar Grand Prix

The 1994 Australian FAI Indycar Grand Prix was the opening round of the 1994 CART World Series season, held on 20 March 1994 on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit, Australia.

Australia 1994 Surfers Paradise
Race details
Race 1 of 16 in the 1994 IndyCar season
Surfers Paradise Street Circuit.svg
Map of the track
Date20 March, 1994
Official name1994 Australian FAI Indycar Grand Prix
LocationSurfers Paradise Street Circuit
Queensland, Australia
CourseTemporary Street Circuit
2.794 mi / 4.496 km
Distance55 laps
153.670 mi / 247.280 km
WeatherRain
Pole position
DriverNigel Mansell (Newman-Haas Racing)
Time1:34.877
Fastest lap
DriverNigel Mansell (Newman-Haas Racing)
Time1:37.487 (on lap 15 of 55)
Podium
FirstMichael Andretti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)
SecondEmerson Fittipaldi (Marlboro Team Penske)
ThirdMario Andretti (Newman-Haas Racing)

Nigel Mansell, the defending winner and CART series champion, won the pole position in Newman-Haas's new Lola T94/00. Alongside on the grid was Michael Andretti, who was beginning his comeback to the CART series with Chip Ganassi Racing after spending a year in Formula One. Starting in eighth position was future CART and Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve, making his first start in the CART series. It was also the Indy car debut of the Reynard chassis and the Honda engine.

The race start was delayed because of changing wet weather conditions and accidents during each of the first two attempts. The first incident occurred in Turn 12 (the final corner) and collected Raul Boesel, Willy T. Ribbs, Robbie Buhl, and Alessandro Zampedri. The second aborted start saw further carnage; this time in the second chicane involving Boesel and Zampedri again, along with Mario Andretti, Hiro Matsushita, and Davy Jones slowed the field. Bobby Rahal hit the tyre wall in the first chicane, apparently on his own, and Paul Tracy spun off in Turn 4 undamaged. The race finally started around 4 p.m., with Andretti overtaking Mansell on the first lap.

Michael Andretti got by Mansell after the start (the third attempt), as did Robby Gordon. In Turn 5 he muscled his way past Mansell, who soon outbraked the Californian in the same place. On Lap 17 Gordon spun and crashed after he clipped too much curb in the backstretch chicanes. Lap 20 saw the exit of Mark Smith, who locked up the right front, and Zampedri (in his third incident of the race) who seemed to be watching Smith rather than the road.

On the restart Andretti caught a huge break when Mansell spun on the damp track in front of Emerson Fittipaldi and Teo Fabi. A moment later in the second chicane Michael slid into the tyre barrier but continued on undamaged. Mansell later spun off in Turn 9 while passing Maurício Gugelmin. He spun the car around, but bumped the wall with the left rear tyre and stalled the engine. On Lap 38 Stefan Johansson and rookie Jacques Villeneuve touched coming towards Turn 9, ending the Canadian's IndyCar debut early. Later on, because of the delays, darkness fell over the circuit. Former racer Chip Ganassi, whose car was in the lead, was very concerned about visibility. He pleaded with CART to end the race after saying to ABC's Gary Gerould, "This is a dangerous situation! The lights are on along the pits here! The lights are on at the Marriott hotel...the race needs to be stopped!" The circuit was lit during the end of the race, but not sufficiently to run safely as a night race, and the 65 lap distance was shortened by 10 laps due to darkness. Andretti, leading all 55 laps, won in his Ganassi debut, which was also Reynard's first IndyCar race. This continued their record of winning on their debut in various categories including Formula 3 and F3000. Emerson Fittipaldi, driving the new Penske PC-23, finished second, followed by Mario Andretti, who began his final CART season with the final podium finish of his Indy car career. Jimmy Vasser and Stefan Johansson rounded out the Top five.

Contents

Qualifying resultsEdit

Pos Nat Name Team Car Time
1   Nigel Mansell Newman-Haas Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:34.877
2   Michael Andretti Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard 94I-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:35.568
3   Emerson Fittipaldi Team Penske Penske PC-23-94-Ilmor/D 1:36.023
4   Adrián Fernández Galles Racing Reynard 94I-Ilmor/D 1:36.091
5   Al Unser, Jr. Team Penske Penske PC-23-94-Ilmor/D 1:36.394
6   Paul Tracy Team Penske Penske PC-23-94-Ilmor/D 1:36.398
7   Maurício Gugelmin Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard 94I-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:37.802
8   Jacques Villeneuve (R) Forsythe/Green Racing Reynard 94I-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:36.480
9   Robby Gordon Walker Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:36.678
10   Jimmy Vasser Hayhoe Racing Reynard 94I-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:36.877
11   Teo Fabi Jim Hall Racing Reynard 94I-Ilmor/D 1:36.925
12   Stefan Johansson Bettenhausen Motorsports Penske PC-23-93-Ilmor/D 1:37.328
13   Mark Smith Walker Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:37.476
14   Mike Groff Rahal/Hogan Racing Lola T93/07-Honda 1:37.633
15   Arie Luyendyk Indy Regency Racing Lola T94/00-Ilmor/D 1:37.739
16   Bobby Rahal Rahal/Hogan Racing Lola T93/00-Honda 1:37.783
17   Scott Goodyear Budweiser King Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:37.835
18   Scott Sharp (R) PacWest Racing Group Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:37.940
19   Mario Andretti Newman-Haas Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:37.940
20   Raul Boesel Dick Simon Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:38.002
21   Alessandro Zampedri (R) Euromotorsport Lola T93/07-Ilmor/C 1:38.908
22   Willy T. Ribbs Walker Racing Lola T93/06-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:38.948
23   Hiro Matsushita Dick Simon Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:39.089
24   Robbie Buhl Dale Coyne Racing Lola T93/06-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:39.122
25   Davy Jones A. J. Foyt Enterprises Lola T92/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:39.729
26   Dominic Dobson PacWest Racing Group Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:39.729
27   Gary Brabham (R) Bettenhausen Motorsports Penske PC22-93-Ilmor/C 1:40.117
W   Andrea Montermini Dale Coyne Racing Lola T93/06-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:37.959
DNQ   Marco Greco Arciero Racing Lola T94/00-Ford-Cosworth XB 1:40.571
DNQ   Buddy Lazier Leader Card Racing Lola T93/07-Ilmor/C 1:41.164
DNQ   Dave Kudrave Euromotorsport Lola T92/00-Ilmor/A No time

R = Rookie driver, DNQ = Did not qualify, W = Andrea Montermini withdrew from the race after a crash during Saturday morning practice.

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8   Michael Andretti Chip Ganassi Racing 55 1:44:58.169 2 21
2 2   Emerson Fittipaldi Team Penske 55 +0.2 secs 3 16
3 6   Mario Andretti Newman-Haas Racing 55 +7.3 secs 19 14
4 18   Jimmy Vasser Hayhoe Racing 55 +38.6 secs 10 12
5 16   Stefan Johansson Bettenhausen Motorsports 55 +1:03.1 secs 12 10
6 88   Maurício Gugelmin Chip Ganassi Racing 55 +1:22.6 secs 7 8
7 11   Teo Fabi Jim Hall Racing 54 + 1 lap 11 6
8 10   Mike Groff Rahal/Hogan Racing 54 + 1 lap 14 5
9 1   Nigel Mansell Newman-Haas Racing 54 + 1 lap 1 5
10 40   Scott Goodyear King Racing 53 + 2 laps 17 3
11 71   Scott Sharp (R) PacWest Racing Group 53 + 2 laps 18 2
12 17   Dominic Dobson PacWest Racing Group 52 + 3 laps 26 1
13 7   Adrián Fernández Galles Racing 52 + 3 laps 4
14 31   Al Unser, Jr. Team Penske 51 Electrical 5
15 22   Hiro Matsushita Dick Simon Racing 48 + 7 laps 22
16 3   Paul Tracy Team Penske 39 Electrical 6
17 12   Jacques Villeneuve (R) Forsythe/Green Racing 36 Contact 3
18 24   Willy T. Ribbs Walker Racing 34 Contact 22
19 14   Davy Jones A. J. Foyt Enterprises 31 Transmission 25
20 19   Robbie Buhl Dale Coyne Racing 30 Oil pressure 24
21 15   Mark Smith Walker Racing 19 Contact 13
22 50   Alessandro Zampedri (R) Euromotorsport 19 Contact 21
23 9   Robby Gordon Walker Racing 16 Contact 9
24 76   Gary Brabham (R) Bettenhausen Motorsports 10 Transmission 27
25 28   Arie Luyendyk Indy Regency Racing 8 Transmission 15
26 4   Bobby Rahal Rahal/Hogan Racing 0 Contact 16
27 5   Raul Boesel Dick Simon Racing 0 Contact 20

NotesEdit

  • Average Speed: 80.994 mph

External linksEdit