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The 1996 Molson Indy Toronto was a CART race held on the street course at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 14, 1996. The race was won by Adrian Fernandez, driving the #32 Lola/Honda for Tasman Motorsports, but was marred by an accident late in the race which resulted in the deaths of rookie driver Jeff Krosnoff and a track worker.

Contents

QualifyingEdit

Twenty-eight drivers qualified for the race. The front row consisted of polesitter Andre Ribeiro, driving the #31 Lola/Honda for Tasman Motorsports, and Alex Zanardi, driving the #4 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.[1]

Lineup
Pos No. Driver Tires Chassis Engine Team
1 31   Andre Ribeiro Firestone Lola Honda Tasman Motorsports
2 4   Alex Zanardi Firestone Reynard Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
3 32   Adrian Fernandez Firestone Lola Honda Tasman Motorsports
4 20   Scott Pruett Firestone Lola Cosworth Patrick Racing
5 99   Greg Moore Firestone Reynard Cosworth Forsythe Racing
6 49   Parker Johnstone Firestone Reynard Honda Comptech Racing
7 2   Al Unser, Jr. Goodyear Penske Mercedes-Benz Team Penske
8 18   Bobby Rahal Goodyear Reynard Mercedes-Benz Team Rahal
9 8   Gil de Ferran Goodyear Reynard Honda Jim Hall Racing
10 6   Michael Andretti Goodyear Lola Cosworth Newman/Haas Racing
11 12   Jimmy Vasser Firestone Reynard Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
12 28   Bryan Herta Goodyear Reynard Mercedes-Benz Team Rahal
13 3   Paul Tracy Goodyear Penske Mercedes-Benz Team Penske
14 11   Christian Fittipaldi Goodyear Lola Cosworth Newman/Haas Racing
15 9   Emerson Fittipaldi Goodyear Penske Mercedes-Benz Hogan/Penske Racing
16 21   Mark Blundell Goodyear Reynard Cosworth PacWest Racing
17 17   Maurício Gugelmin Goodyear Reynard Cosworth PacWest Racing
18 5   Robby Gordon Goodyear Reynard Cosworth Walker Racing
19 1   Raul Boesel Firestone Reynard Honda Brahma Sports Team/Team Green
20 25   Jeff Krosnoff Firestone Reynard Toyota Arciero-Wells Racing
21 16   Stefan Johansson Goodyear Reynard Mercedes-Benz Bettenhausen Racing
22 34   Roberto Moreno Goodyear Lola Cosworth Payton/Coyne Racing
23 15   Scott Goodyear Goodyear Reynard Cosworth Walker Racing
24 10   Eddie Lawson Goodyear Lola Mercedes-Benz Galles Racing
25 98   P.J. Jones Goodyear Eagle Toyota All American Racers
26 44   Richie Hearn Goodyear Lola Cosworth Della Penna Motorsports
27 36   Juan Manuel Fangio II Goodyear Eagle Toyota All American Racers
28 19   Hiro Matsushita Firestone Lola Cosworth Payton/Coyne Racing

Media coverageEdit

ABC carried the race in the United States, with Paul Page as the race announcer and former open-wheel series regular Danny Sullivan as the color man, with Gary Gerould and Jack Arute as pit reporters.

In Canada, the race was carried live, flag-to-flag, on CBC with Brian Williams providing play-by-play and Bobby Unser as analyst. Jon Beekhuis and Ken Daniels served as pit reporters.

In Europe, the race was carried over Eurosport which utilized ABC's feed.

In Brazil, the race was carried live, flag-to-flag, on SBT with Teo José providing play-by-play and Dede Gomez as analyst. Luiz Carlos Azenha served as pit reporter.

Race recapEdit

Although Ribeiro started on pole, Zanardi (who went on to win the series Rookie of the Year award) quickly passed him and led the first lap. He stayed in front until lap 37 when Greg Moore took the point, but regained the lead two laps later and held until lap 65. Bobby Rahal led lap 66 and Adrian Fernandez took the lead on lap 67. Moore got back in front on lap 68 and led for ten laps until Fernandez once again moved to the front on lap 78.

Fatal incidentEdit

On lap 92 of the scheduled 95-lap race, the accident that killed Krosnoff took place. Krosnoff, Ribeiro, and Stefan Johansson were all multiple laps down at this point in the race but were still jockeying for position. Entering turn three of the track, the lapped car of Johansson tried to pass Gil de Ferran. Krosnoff was running next to Johansson and Ribeiro was ahead of all three of those cars.

As Johansson made his turn to pass de Ferran, he clipped Krosnoff's car and sent it flying into the catch fencing lining the side of the course. Krosnoff's car's body disintegrated on impact and split into two pieces. The cockpit of the car landed on the opposite side of the track while the rear wheels and engine rolled forward into the runoff area. When the dust finally settled, both Johansson and Ribeiro had come to rest in the runoff area along with the remnants of Krosnoff's car. As the IndyCar safety crew tried to attend to the accident scene, which was littered with debris from Krosnoff's car, Eddie Lawson came barreling toward the scene unaware of what had just taken place. CART officials frantically waved to Lawson to tell him to slow down, which he did just before he reached the scene, and he was able to continue on through.

Shortly after this, CART officials threw a red flag along with the checkered flag, ending the race a few laps before its scheduled finish. Krosnoff was removed from the wreck and transported to Toronto's Western Hospital where he was pronounced dead.[2] Dr. Steve Olvey of the CART series and Dr. Hugh Scully of the race medical staff both spoke at the postrace press conference, where Olvey relayed the death was instantaneous and Scully reported that track worker Gary Arvin was also killed in the wreck as a result of being hit by Krosnoff's airborne car.

AftermathEdit

Krosnoff's death was the second in American open-wheel racing series in 1996, after Indy Racing League driver Scott Brayton was killed in practice for that year's Indianapolis 500. It was also the last death in what eventually became the Champ Car World Series until 1999- coincidentally, that year also featured two deaths as Gonzalo Rodriguez was killed in a practice crash at Laguna Seca and Greg Moore was killed during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1996 Molson Indy Toronto - Racing-Reference.info". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  2. ^ "Jeff Krosnoff and Gary Arvin Die in Car Wreck at Molson Indy Toronto". theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
Previous race:
1996 Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland
IndyCar World Series
1996 season
Next race:
1996 Marlboro 500

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1995 Molson Indy Toronto
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