2001 Houston Thoughts
TRACK: Consider this. Lime Rock Park in Connecticut is so small and tight that it is called the
bullring of road circuits. It is 1.53-miles long with six turns, though when the quick sports car prototypes
run there, they add a chicane in place of the uphill turn to prevent them from going airborne. Now, compare that
to the Houston street circuit which is virtually the same length -- 1.527-miles. Yet, Houston has ten turns,
with concrete lining the edges. So, if Lime Rock is too small for the Champ Cars, what are they doing at Houston?
RACE: Well, it was amazingly clean for the first 37 laps. And just the first 37 laps.
DE FERRAN: Once again, Houston may be the turning point for Gil's championship run.
FRANCHITTI: His early race pass on Kenny Brack is the perfect example of making a split second decision
to jump on an opportunity. Exactly what these drivers are paid to do.
GIDLEY: Just how did Memo end up in third place?
TAKAGI: Now, this is the Tora that people were expecting when he came over from Europe with high marks
from many F1 drivers.
CASTRONEVES: Not a bad weekend, and with Laguna Seca coming up, Brack better watch out for that other
BRACK: Speaking of Kenny, he may be having nightmares of the red and white machines.
NAKANO: He played Tora for this race.
FERNANDEZ: The post race debriefing for his drivers was probably interesting...
JUNQUEIRA: It appears that no matter how good Bruno looks these days, Chip has already decided to get a
ANDRETTI: Just when it appears Michael really is going to make a run for the championship, he always
manages to blow his chances.
SERVIA: Oriol invented a new way to knock a competitor you are mad at out of the
race. Instead of punting him off the track -- the old boring method -- Oriol made a banzai pass
that he had no hope of pulling off, losing it in front of said competitor, taking the other car out by having him
crash into you. Give Servia points for originality.
GUGELMIN: Despite the DNF, it was a very good weekend for Big Mo.
WILSON: So much for this team's midseason promise.
DIXON: Scott wins the "Racing Isn't Fair" award for this weekend.
TRACY: Is Paul mellowing out? Or just resigned to this season being over? His reaction to falling out
of the race was so blasé. Very non-Tracy like.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: For the past two races, a driver could get a maximum of 43 points (Rockingham
qualifying having been rained out), which is exactly what Gil de Ferran got. There's an example of a champion
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The only other "road" course run by champ cars in Texas was way back in
1913 and 1914 in Galveston -- a 5-mile beach course.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: To Oriol Servia for his refreshing honesty. "The reason we crashed was I made an
impossible move." Can you imagine Mario Andretti ever saying that?
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: To Memo Gidley for learning quickly about how to handle Chip Ganassi.
After taking out teammate Bruno Junqueira, Gidley was quite straightforward with his car owner, admitting fault.
"I knew if I said the wrong thing, he would go from 2000 RPM all the way to the rev limiter."
SCHEDULE: Okay, so who is going to finish second behind Bryan Herta at Laguna Seca?
Copyright © 2001 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.