1997 Molson Indy Vancouver

The 1997 Molson Indy Vancouver was the 15th round of the 1997 CART season. At that time, the Italian driver Alex Zanardi was the leader of the standings with 39 points in front of the French-Brazilian driver Gil de Ferran.

Canada 1997 Vancouver
Race details
Race 15 of 17 in the 1997 CART season
Grand Prix of Vancouver old layout.png
DateAugust 31, 1997
Official nameMolson Indy Vancouver
LocationStreets of Vancouver, British Columbia
CourseStreet track
1.653 mi / 2.660 km
Distance100 laps
165.300 mi / 266.000 km
WeatherTemperatures reaching up to 22.2 °C (72.0 °F) before dropping down to 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) by the end of the event[1]
Pole position
DriverAlex Zanardi (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Fastest lap
DriverAlex Zanardi (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Time55.136 (on lap 82 of 100)
FirstMaurício Gugelmin (PacWest Racing)
SecondJimmy Vasser (Chip Ganassi Racing)
ThirdGil de Ferran (Walker Racing)

Starting gridEdit

  1. Alex Zanardi 54.025 seconds
  2. Bobby Rahal 54.351 seconds
  3. Jimmy Vasser 54.386 seconds
  4. Michael Andretti 54.419 seconds
  5. Maurício Gugelmin 54.505 seconds
  6. Bryan Herta 54.542 seconds
  7. Gil de Ferran 54.553 seconds
  8. Mark Blundell 54.600 seconds
  9. Greg Moore 54.614 seconds
  10. Dario Franchitti 54.655 seconds
  11. Scott Pruett 54.750 seconds
  12. Raul Boesel 55.052 seconds
  13. André Ribeiro 55.090 seconds
  14. Christian Fittipaldi 55.118 seconds
  15. Michel Jourdain Jr. 55.183 seconds
  16. Adrian Fernandez 55.315 seconds
  17. Paul Tracy 55.535 seconds
  18. Parker Johnstone 55.635 seconds
  19. Max Papis 55.930 seconds
  20. Roberto Moreno 55.962 seconds
  21. Richie Hearn 56.027 seconds
  22. Al Unser Jr. 56.028 seconds
  23. Christian Danner 56.068 seconds
  24. Juan Manuel Fangio II 56.241 seconds
  25. P. J. Jones 56.373 seconds
  26. Hiro Matsushita 58.508 seconds
  27. Dennis Vitolo 1:02:557
  28. Gualter Salles No time


First 30 lapsEdit

At the start, Dennis Vitolo stalled his engine at turn 3. But he continued in the race. The Penske Racing driver Paul Tracy had a collision with a driver at the chicane. The driver, probably, was André Ribeiro. First caution came out, as Dennis Vitolo had a contact with a tyre wall. P. J. Jones went to the pits at the time of the full course caution. Restart came out very soon, but Michel Jourdain Jr. was spun by Al Unser Jr. in the final corner. But he was back on the field. After 9 laps, the top 6 was: Alex Zanardi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Maurício Gugelmin, Michael Andretti and Bryan Herta. At lap 16, Zanardi missed the hairpin. When he would come back to the race, his engine had stalled. But he remained in the race, although, lost many positions. At lap 20, P. J. Jones retired due to an engine failure. At lap 26, Vasser took the lead after overtaking Rahal at turn 10.

Lap 31 - Lap 60Edit

At lap 35, Bobby Rahal retired after a transmission failure. At lap 47, Richie Hearn was hit by Michel Jourdain Jr. at turn 10. This caused a full course caution. Restart came out at lap 53. At lap 54, Alex Zanardi hit Bryan Herta at turn 10, and, at the chicane, Scott Pruett had hit the back of the car of Adrian Fernandez, resulting in another caution. Restart came at lap 57.

Lap 61 - Lap 80Edit

Then, Greg Moore had some damages in his right-front suspension at lap 64. At lap 68, Zanardi did an amazing overtaking manoeuvre on Michael Andretti at Turn 3 (The hairpin). Right after this, Andretti suffered problems on his suspension, and retired from the race.

Last 20 lapsEdit

With 18 laps to go, Alex Zanardi stalled his engine at the hairpin (Turn 3) again. He came back to the race at 10th place. The top 6 at the following lap was: Bryan Herta, Maurício Gugelmin, Jimmy Vasser, Al Unser Jr., Gil de Ferran and Mark Blundell. With 14 laps to go, Zanardi knocked Herta out at the chicane, right after the hairpin. Despite the collision, Herta did not retire. At the last lap, Christian Fittipaldi crashed at turn 10 and retired, but was classified 9th.

Final resultsEdit

  1. Maurício Gugelmin
  2. Jimmy Vasser
  3. Gil de Ferran
  4. Alex Zanardi
  5. Al Unser Jr.
  6. Raul Boesel
  7. Mark Blundell
  8. Bryan Herta
  9. Christian Fittipaldi retired, but was classified
  10. André Ribeiro +1 lap
  11. Parker Johnstone +1 lap
  12. Juan Manuel Fangio II +2 laps
  13. Dario Franchitti retired, but was classified
  14. Hiro Matsushita +6 laps
  15. Roberto Moreno Steering
  16. Michael Andretti Contact
  17. Greg Moore Contact
  18. Scott Pruett Contact
  19. Adrian Fernandez Contact
  20. Max Papis Clutch
  21. Michel Jourdain Jr. Contact
  22. Richie Hearn Contact
  23. Christian Danner Engine
  24. Bobby Rahal Transmission
  25. P. J. Jones Engine
  26. Gualter Salles Contact
  27. Dennis Vitolo Contact
  28. Paul Tracy Contact


  1. After his collision with Bryan Herta, Alex Zanardi was fined after the race.
  2. This was the last time that CART had run in Vancouver's original track. From 1998, CART had used another track.
  3. Maurício Gugelmin won for the first and only time in his CART career.
  4. Alex Zanardi took his 10th and final Pole Position in his CART career.


  1. ^ "1997 Molson Indy Vancouver weather information". Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-07-13.