2001 Motorola 220
|Race 14 of 21 in the 2001 CART season|
|Date||August 19, 2001|
|Official name||Motorola 220|
|Location||Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
4.048 mi / 6.515 km
182.160 mi / 293.158 km
|Driver||Kenny Bräck (Team Rahal)|
|Driver||Bruno Junqueira (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|Time||1:43.606 (on lap 40 of 45)|
|First||Bruno Junqueira (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|Second||Michael Andretti (Team Green)|
|Third||Adrian Fernández (Fernández Racing)|
The 2001 Motorola 220 was a Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) motor race held on August 19, 2001, at the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. It was the 14th race of the 2001 CART season, and the 19th annual edition of the event. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Bruno Junqueira who started from the tenth position won the 45-lap race. Michael Andretti finished second for Team Green and Fernández Racing driver Adrian Fernández came in third.
Kenny Bräck took the pole position by posting the fastest lap in qualifying, and held the lead on the run to the first corner. He continued to maintain it until the race was stopped because of a flooded track on the backstraight. After a 47-minute delay to address the problem, the race restarted with Hélio Castroneves leading after a switch onto slick tires at his first pit stop before it was stopped. Castroneves led a race-high 24 laps until his final pit stop for fuel to reach the end of the race. Christian Fittipaldi assumed the lead, keeping it until he and Michael Andretti made contact, allowing Junqueira into first. He maintained this position for the remainder of the race to take his first CART victory. There were six cautions and two lead changes among three different drivers.
The result of the race left Castroneves as the new Drivers' Championship leader; Bräck fell to the second position with five points separating him and Castroneves. Gil de Ferran maintained the third position, Andretti's second-place result advanced him from fifth to fourth, and Scott Dixon took fifth from Dario Franchitti. Honda increased their advantage over Toyota in the Manufacturers' Championship to 35 points while Ford Cosworth dropped to third. Lola lowered Reynard's advantage at the top of the Constructors' Championship to 37 points with seven races left in the season.
The Motorola 220 was confirmed as part of the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) 2001 schedule for the series in August 2000. It was to be the 19th consecutive year the race was held in the series, and the sixth and final event to be held in the Midwestern United States. The Motorola 220 was the 14th race of 21 scheduled by CART for 2001. It took place at the fourteen-turn 4.048 mi (6.515 km) Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on August 19. Prior to the event, Team Penske driver Hélio Castroneves and Kenny Bräck for Team Rahal were tied for the lead in the points standings for the Drivers' Championship with 103 points each. Gil de Ferran was third on 89 points, eight ahead of fourth-placed Dario Franchitti, who in turn was a further eight points in front of Michael Andretti in fifth. Honda was leading the Manufacturers' Championship with 212 points; Ford Cosworth was second on 185, with Toyota eleven points behind in the battle for second place. Reynard led the Constructors' Championship with a 41-point advantage over their rivals Lola.
Andretti, who won at Road America three times, said he was feeling additional positive pressure heading into the race. He and his team wanted to go to the track and please his team's primary sponsor. Castroneves won the previous race of the season (at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) and stated he needed to maintain his recent momentum and increase his points tally. He spoke of his hope that he would be able to improve his result from the previous event at Road America in 2000. Bräck said his team had to improve his car, which he hoped would be fast on the straightaways since its engine produced a large amount of horsepower. He said that everything that had occurred during the season was in the past, and he had to focus on the race and attempt to win it.
Practice and qualifyingEdit
Two 75-minute practice sessions were held before the Sunday race. A test session, scheduled for Friday afternoon, ran for 90 minutes. Conditions were warm and sunny for both Friday practice sessions. Two red flags were shown in the first practice session. The first was for Roberto Moreno who stalled his engine in the eighth turn while on an out lap. The second was for Scott Dixon who spun into the turn five gravel trap and stalled his car, necessitating its removal from the circuit. Tora Takagi was fastest with a time of 1:42:202; Jimmy Vasser, de Ferran, Bräck, Franchitti, Bruno Junqueira, Moreno, Andretti, Bryan Herta and Castroneves rounded out the session's top ten drivers. De Ferran recorded the fastest lap of the day in the second practice session with a time of 1:41.055, ahead of Vasser, Franchitti. Andretti; Moreno, Cristiano da Matta, Junqueira, Tony Kanaan, Castroneves and Bräck.
A further five stoppages occurred; Max Papis spun into the turn 12 tire barrier, sustaining rear wing damage. Max Wilson simultaneously went off the track leaving the second turn and stalled. Herta slid into the turn three gravel trap, and Wilson stalled after exiting turn three. Vasser went off into the turn four gravel trap. Weather conditions became cloudy for the Saturday practice session due to a low pressure area developing to the west of the track. The session was stopped twice when Alex Tagliani spun into the turn six gravel trap and stalled his car, and Bräck's engine failed heading into the 12th turn and steered right towards the pit lane entry but stalled. De Ferran was fastest with a time of 1:40.511; Moreno, Vasser, Junqueira, Takagi, Castroneves, Fernández, Franchitti, Herta and Bräck completed the top ten. After the session ended, Alex Zanardi stopped his car in Fernández's pit stall to prevent him from entering it because Fernández blocked by him while on a timed lap. Zanardi then nudged Fernández in an accusatory manner before others stepped in to defuse the situation.
Saturday afternoon's qualifying session lasted for 75 minutes. The cars were split into two groups with the leading championship point-standing leaders and the fastest two drivers from the previous road course race composing the second group. Both groups were allowed 30 minutes on the circuit with a 15-minute break in between the two groups recording their lap times. A heavy rain shower, which ended one hour before qualifying began, made the track surface slippery and all cars were required to use wet-weather tires. Rain returned as the second group of cars drove onto the track. Several drivers slid off the track, but most avoided damaging their cars. Bräck clinched his fifth pole position of the season with a time of 2:03.531. He was joined on the grid's front row by Tagliani in his best qualifying performance on a road course in 2001. Tagliani could not claim the pole position as he slowed for Castroneves at Canada Corner during his final two timed laps. In his first time competing at Road America, Dixon qualified in third place on his final timed lap.
De Ferran spun twice and entered the pit lane to make changes to his car to allow him to improve his lap time; he took fourth, ahead of da Matta. Castroneves elected to drive his team's backup car, which was optimized for wet-weather conditions. He took sixth due to the affects the drying track surface had on his strategy. Andretti qualified in seventh place, pushing Memo Gidley to eighth position. Fittipaldi took ninth, and Junqueira rounded out the top ten having two of his car's wheels into the gravel on the side of the track on his final lap. Vasser was the fastest driver not to qualify in the top ten; his fastest lap time was four seconds slower than Bräck. He was nearly one-tenth of a second faster than Patrick Carpentier in 12th, and Takagi in 13th. Moreno and Maurício Gugelmin, Herta (who was delayed by Zanardi) and Kanaan, Oriol Servià, Wilson and Michel Jourdain Jr. filled the next six positions. Shinji Nakano, Papis, Zanardi and Paul Tracy qualified in positions 21 to 24. Tracy caused the session to be stopped for four minutes when he spun into the turn four infield grass section. His session ended prematurely because he subsequently reported a transmission failure to his team over the radio. Franchitti spun into the turn 12 gravel trap and was unable to improve his laptime; he started 25th. Fernández did not set a lap time after he had spun at the third turn and hit the outside wall with his rear wing.
The drivers took to the track at 9:30 a.m. local time for a 30-minute warm-up session. Rain continued to fall on the track overnight but stopped before the 30-minute period began. Kanaan was fastest in the warm-up session with a time of 1:51.743. Dixon and Wilson rounded out the top three. The session was disrupted when Andretti spun in the eleventh turn and damaged the right-front quarter of his car upon hitting the wall. Andretti was unhurt.
A further deluge came over the track with over 1 inch (25 millimetres) of rain falling in less than half an hour. Race officials worked quickly to remove standing water from the track surface. It was announced the race would be a "Wet Start" and all cars were required to start with the rain tires installed. The air temperature throughout the event ranged between 66–75 °F (19–24 °C) and the track temperature was between 67–90 °F (19–32 °C). The race began at 12:15 p.m. local time behind the pace car. The vehicles drove alongside each other to lift the remaining standing water on the track surface. A jet dryer was sent onto the track on lap two to assist in the drying efforts. The pit lane was opened on lap four with teammates Tracy and Franchitti making pit stops. Both drivers rejoined the race at the back of the field. The pace car drove into the pit lane at the end of the fifth lap and the cars restarted in a single-line formation. Bräck maintained his pole position advantage heading into the first turn. Dixon was blocked by another car, and he was overtaken by de Ferran for third. Farther back, Junqueira clashed wheels with Fittipaldi at the fifth turn, dropping him to the rear of the field.
Junqueira attempted to overtake Fittipaldi but made contact with the right-front section of his car in turn five and spun. He fell from tenth to 20th. Serviá made contact with the Franchetti's front-right leaving turn five and both drivers spun towards the inside wall. They continued without any significant damage. Tagliani temporarily moved ahead of Bräck to claim the lead, but he drove too fast heading into the corner and Bräck was able to reclaim the position. De Ferran took advantage of the manoeuvre by driving on the inside lane, but he could not pass Tagliani. Takagi swerved to avoid the collision between Junqueira and Fittipaldi and Moreno attempted to overtake him around the outside, but both drivers made contact heading into turn nine. Takagi stalled his engine, but he managed to continue. Wilson hit the rear of Herta's car; he went airborne and over the back of it. Both competitors then drifted into the inside wall. Herta's helmet bore tyre marks from the accident. Tracy attempted to avoid the scene by driving around the inside, but he was caught up in the incident because of reduced visibility after driving through spray. No drivers were injured but all three retired from the race. The second caution flag was shown on the same lap. Franchitti, Junqueira, Fittipaldi made pit stops under caution.
Bräck led the field at the lap-10 restart. Andretti moved in front Dixon for sixth place heading into the first turn. Dixon hit the rear-end of Andretti's car, sending him spinning in the center of turn five. He got his car moving in the right direction and continued. The third caution was necessitated on the same lap when Gugelmin lost control of his car after driving through standing water on the backstraight and veered right. He collided heavily with the inside wall. Gugelmin was uninjured, but he retired from the race because of the damage to his vehicle. On lap 11, Takagi hydroplaned in the same area and heavily damaged his car by contacting the inside barrier. All drivers, except for Castroneves, made pit stops for dry tires. The race was stopped three laps later by CART chief steward Chris Kneifel to allow course officials to deal with the standing water on the backstretch, caused by the nearby run-off area collecting water where it then seeped across the track surface. Course officials started to dig a ditch against the inside wall at the scene. CART required all drivers to drive into the pit lane; their mechanics were permitted to alter their cars. The race restarted 47 minutes later with Castroneves, Carpentier and Jourdain leading the field after they had made pit stops for slick tires before it was stopped.
Carpentier unsuccessfully challenged Castroneves on the outside lane on the run to the first corner. Fittipaldi out-braked Bräck at turn five for fourth place. Jourdain then caught Carpentier off guard cresting a hill on the approach to turn six by passing him around the outside to move into second. Half-a-mile later, Bräck was passed by Tagliani who got ahead of him around the outside at the Carousel corner. However, Tagliani went off the circuit while trying to overtake his teammate Carpentier at turn twelve and fell to ninth. At the end of lap seventeen, Castroneves led Jourdain with Fittipaldi, Carpentier, and Bräck in positions three to five. On lap 21, the sixth caution was given. Entering turn thirteen, Gidley put one of his car's wheels on a damp curb and had a sudden loss in traction at the rear of his vehicle. He was propelled toward a concrete support to a nearby bridge at the corner. His car's right-front corner hit it at approximately 145 mph (233 km/h) at a 60 degree angle. Gidley's car was split into two pieces; he flipped and rolled several times before landing upside down in a nearby gravel trap at the outside of the circuit. Debris was scattered across the track, and Dixon collected some of it, which struck his helmet.
Gidley was briefly knocked unconscious by the impact, but he awoke by the time safety officials came to his aid and he communicated with his team over the radio. Safety workers spent ten minutes extricating Gidley from his wrecked car. He was transported via ambulance to the HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, for precautionary x-rays to his neck and had a CT scan. Jourdain, Fittipaldi, and Bräck entered the pit lane to make stops for fuel during the caution. Castroneves chose not to make a pit stop, and he led the field at the lap-29 restart, followed by Carpentier and de Ferran. Carpentier lost second to de Ferran at turn twelve and he then dropped to fifth after da Matta and Moreno passed him. Franchitti had lost radio communication with his team, and smoke bellowed from the rear of his car due to an engine failed leaving the second corner on lap 32. He pulled off the track at the next turn to retire. Castroneves and his teammate de Ferran, along with all drivers who did not make their pit stops during the caution, entered the pit lane three laps later for fuel stops to enable them to reach the end of the race.
Fittipaldi became the leader with Andretti taking over second. Going into turn five, Andretti drove on the inside lane to try and overtake Fittipaldi. He defended his position by cutting down of Andretti, resulting in the two making side-by-side contact. Fittipaldi sustained a broken front-left suspension arm/. He pulled off to the side of the track forced to retire because of the significant amount of damage to his car. Andretti had a skewed steering column, but he continued driving. The incident, however, delayed Andretti long enough for him to lose the lead to Junqueira on the inside lane cresting a hill. Junqueira pulled away from Andretti by setting a series of fastest laps to lead by 2.931 seconds by the start of the 40th lap. Zanardi was in third but he could not match the leaders' pace and he lost as much as three seconds to them per lap. Fernández was in fourth place and under pressure from his teammate Nakano in fifth. On lap 42, Andretti, Zanardi and Nakano made their final pit stops. Andretti emerged in third. Junqueira entered the pit lane with a 20-second advantage over Fernández on the next lap, returning about 100 ft (30 m) in front of the latter.
At this point, CART Race Control informed all teams and drivers the race would end after two hours because of the earlier delays. Fernández conserved his fuel usage, and he allowed Andretti through into the second position on the 44th lap. Unhindered in the final two laps, Junqueira crossed the start/finish line after completing 45 laps to clinch his first victory in CART with an average speed of 90.721 mph (146.001 km/h). Andretti followed 2.687 seconds later in second and Fernández completed the podium finishers in third place. Off the podium, Dixon equalled his best result on a road course during the season in fourth. The Brazilian trio of de Ferran, da Matta and Castroneves were in positions five to seven. Tagliani and his fellow Canadian Carpentier finished in eighth and ninth places. Serviá completed the top ten finishers. Outside the top ten, Moreno was eleventh, followed by his fellow Brazilian Kanaan in twelfth. The final finishers were Zanardi, Bräck, Nakano, Papis, and Jourdain. There were a total of six cautions and two lead changes among three different drivers during the course of the race. Castroneves' total of 24 laps in the lead was the most of any competitor. Junqueira led once for a total of ten laps.
Junqueira appeared in the victory lane before going to the podium with the second and third place finishers to celebrate the first victory of his career in front of the crowd; the win earned him $100,000. He dedicated his victory to his teammate Gidley. "I'm really happy to get my first win, especially on a really tough track like Road America. I was really scared when I saw [Gidley's crash], and I asked about him on the radio and Chip came on and said he was OK. I'm so happy for that." Andretti spoke of an "unbelievable day" for himself and accepted his second-place result despite his collision with Fittipaldi, "There were tough conditions at the start, and I'm glad I wasn't [CART Chief Steward] Chris Kneifel. I don't know what I would have done, probably the same thing. It was just too wet for slicks, and it was just a tough sitiuation." Third-place finisher Fernández commented about the changeable track conditions and improvements made to his car during the red flag, "(Engineer) John (Ward) didn't know if it was going to be a timed race, but once we found out it was going to be a timed race we couldn't race with Michael and Bruno because we had to save fuel. I ran out in Turn 2, so we just made it. The car ran really good all day."
After x-rays, Gidley was found to have fractured a non-weight bearing portion of the bone in his right thigh. He was evaluated by Terry Tramell in Indianapolis on August 20. Gidley revealed the extent of his injuries the day after being discharged from hospital, "I'm very sore, but not too bad really. I feel like you do after you've been skiing for the first time after a long layoff. When you get off the slopes you feel fine, but when you get up in the morning you can hardly move. I feel like I've got about 25 charley horses all over me." He used crutches to aid in his mobility because his body was sore from his crash; he stopped using them on August 25. Andretti said of his contact with Fittipaldi, "I don't know if Fittipaldi was wearing blinders, but I wasn't the only one he hit out there." Fittipaldi responded by saying he did not anticipate Andretti drawing alongside him, and spoke of his feeling it was slightly optimistic of Andretti to attempt his overtaking manoeuvre, "I doubted our strategy after we made our last stop but it would have ultimately put us in position to challenge Bruno or finish third at the worse but Michael made that an over optimistic pass and my car was too damaged to continue. We could have had a podium finish but ended in 18th. It's a shame for myself and the team after a lot of hard work this weekend."
The decision to start the race on a flooded track on the backstraight came under criticism from figures within CART which was pressured to begin the race because it purchased two hours of airtime on sports network ESPN. Herta disagreed with the decision to start the race with a wet track at turn twelve, and he told his team over the radio that officials made a error in judgement. Gugelmin concurred with his view, saying, "CART never should have started this race with the conditions the way they were. Red-flagging it was the right decision, but it doesn't help me or any of the guys who crashed in this mess. These are racing cars, not powerboats. The whole thing was ridiculous." Kneifel stated he observed the track with safety officials before the race began and he acknowledged his decision-making would come under scrutiny. Criticism was also directed at CART's decision to permit teams to alter their cars during the stoppage. Bräck said he felt this gave Castroneves, Carpentier, Jourdain and Nakano an unfair advantage and prevented from finishing in a higher position. Serviá argued that all the cars should have been put into Formula One style parc fermé conditions. He said he did not see the logic in allowing teams to adjust and fuel their cars during a red flag period.
The result of the race meant Castroneves became the new leader of the Drivers' Championship with a five-point lead over previous leader Bräck in second. De Ferran remained his hold on third while Andretti's second place advanced him from fifth to fourth. Dixon rounded out the top five in the standings. Honda left Road America with an increased advantage of 35 points over its nearest rivals Toyota in the Manufacturers' Championship. Ford Cosworth's results at the round meant the manufacturer fell to third. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Reynard were still in the lead but their advantage over Lola had been reduced by four points with seven races left in the season.
|1||8||Kenny Bräck||Team Rahal||2:03.531||117.969||—|
|2||33||Alex Tagliani||Forsythe Racing||2:03.674||117.832||+0.143|
|3||18||Scott Dixon||PacWest Racing||2:04.631||116.928||+1.100|
|4||1||Gil de Ferran||Team Penske||2:04.909||116.667||+1.378|
|5||6||Cristiano da Matta||Newman/Haas Racing||2:06.001||115.656||+2.470|
|6||3||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||2:06.042||115.619||+2.511|
|7||39||Michael Andretti||Team Green||2:06.572||115.134||+3.041|
|8||12||Memo Gidley||Chip Ganassi Racing||2:06.865||114.869||+3.334|
|9||11||Christian Fittipaldi||Newman/Haas Racing||2:07.085||114.671||+3.553|
|10||4||Bruno Junqueira||Chip Ganassi Racing||2:07.422||114.366||+3.891|
|11||40||Jimmy Vasser||Patrick Racing||2:07.597||114.210||+4.066|
|12||32||Patrick Carpentier||Forsythe Racing||2:07.664||114.150||+4.133|
|13||5||Tora Takagi||Walker Racing||2:07.792||114.035||+4.261|
|14||20||Roberto Moreno||Patrick Racing||2:08.811||113.133||+5.280|
|15||17||Maurício Gugelmin||PacWest Racing||2:09.015||112.954||+5.484|
|16||77||Bryan Herta||Forsythe Racing||2:09.073||112.904||+5.542|
|17||55||Tony Kanaan||Mo Nunn Racing||2:09.330||112.679||+5.799|
|18||22||Oriol Servià||Sigma Autosport||2:09.453||112.572||+5.922|
|19||25||Max Wilson||Arciero-Blair Racing||2:11.014||111.231||+7.483|
|20||16||Michel Jourdain Jr.||Bettenhausen Racing||2:11.061||111.191||+7.530|
|21||52||Shinji Nakano||Fernández Racing||2:11.735||110.622||+8.204|
|22||7||Max Papis||Team Rahal||2:11.801||110.561||+8.277|
|23||66||Alex Zanardi||Mo Nunn Racing||2:12.328||110.126||+8.797|
|24||26||Paul Tracy||Team Green||2:12.695||109.822||+9.164|
|25||27||Dario Franchitti||Team Green||2:22.978||101.923||+19.447|
|26||51||Adrián Fernández||Fernández Racing||—||—||—|
|1||4||Bruno Junqueira||Chip Ganassi Racing||45||2:00:28.453||10||20|
|2||7||Michael Andretti||Team Green||45||+2.687||7||16|
|3||51||Adrián Fernández||Fernández Racing||45||+10.009||26||14|
|4||18||Scott Dixon||PacWest Racing||45||+14.413||3||12|
|5||1||Gil de Ferran||Team Penske||45||+15.084||4||10|
|6||6||Cristiano da Matta||Newman/Haas Racing||45||+15.934||9||8|
|7||3||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||45||+16.939||6||71|
|8||33||Alex Tagliani||Forsythe Racing||45||+17.629||2||5|
|9||32||Patrick Carpentier||Forsythe Racing||45||+17.848||12||4|
|10||22||Oriol Servià||Sigma Autosport||45||+19.021||18||3|
|11||20||Roberto Moreno||Patrick Racing||45||+19.440||14||2|
|12||55||Tony Kanaan||Mo Nunn Racing||45||+21.225||17||1|
|13||66||Alex Zanardi||Mo Nunn Racing||45||+27.624||23||—|
|14||8||Kenny Bräck||Team Rahal||45||+27.834||1||12|
|15||52||Shinji Nakano||Fernández Racing||45||+29.216||21||—|
|16||7||Max Papis||Team Rahal||45||+40.478||22||—|
|17||16||Michel Jourdain Jr.||Bettenhausen Racing||45||+54.878||20||—|
|Ret||11||Christian Fittipaldi||Newman/Haas Racing||35||Contact||9||—|
|Ret||27||Dario Franchitti||Team Green||31||Engine||25||—|
|Ret||12||Memo Gidley||Chip Ganassi Racing||20||Accident||8||—|
|Ret||40||Jimmy Vasser||Patrick Racing||20||Fuel pressure||11||—|
|Ret||5||Tora Takagi||Walker Racing||10||Crash||13||—|
|Ret||17||Maurício Gugelmin||PacWest Racing||9||Crash||15||—|
|Ret||77||Bryan Herta||Forsythe Racing||5||Crash||16||—|
|Ret||25||Max Wilson||Arciero-Blair Racing||5||Crash||19||—|
|Ret||26||Paul Tracy||Team Green||5||Crash||24||—|
Standings after the raceEdit
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for the drivers' standings.
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- Hilderbrand, Brian (August 22, 2001). "Columnist Brian Hilderbrand: Memo Gidley OK after scary wreck in Wisconsin". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- "2001 Motorola 220". Racing-Reference. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- Shaw, Jeremy (August 28, 2001). "Gidley Ready to Race". Speedvision. Archived from the original on November 24, 2001. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- "Drivers slam decision to start race". Autosport. August 20, 2001. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- Phillips, David (August 19, 2001). "Rain-Soaked Start Raises Questions From Drivers". Speedvision. Archived from the original on November 24, 2001. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- "Standings after Motorola 220". Championship Auto Racing Teams. Archived from the original on December 22, 2001. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
2001 Miller Lite 200
|CART Indycar World Series
2001 Molson Indy Vancouver
2000 Motorola 220
|Kohler Grand Prix||Next race:|
2002 Grand Prix at Road America