1997 Australia Thoughts
THE RACE: Too many incidents, too many yellows, too many green laps cut out
for the taped coverage to fit in ABC's slot. If this happens at Long Beach,
we'll never see the end of the race as there is no way ABC will cancel the
evening news to stay with an Indy car race.
THE COURSE: Okay, before I was ambivalent, but these street courses are
getting to be too much. Too much junk. Long Beach is always good, and
ironically the worse of them all, Detroit, may turn out to be one of the best
with the changes for this year. But, in general, they are too narrow and too
twisty for these kind of cars to properly perform on.
THE CRASH: Pretty damn scary. As a driver, I'm glad the in-car camera
went out just when Fittipaldi hit the wall. No good replay was ever able to
fully show exactly how it got started and whose fault it is. All I'll say
is that both de Ferran and Fittipaldi have been known to make stupid moves
in the past.
PAUL TRACY: Well, so much for his new found maturity.
JOHNSTONE: In the immortal words of Derek Daly, "well, well, well." I was
pretty high on this guy when he first got in. Rich had his doubts. I'm now
beginning to side with Rich. Parker seems to consistently be showing that he
doesn't belong in Indy cars. At least on road/street circuits.
ZANARDI: First the bad: what is with this guy and his blocking moves? It's
as if he can never concede that he has been beaten to a turn. Now the good:
six poles in a row with 3 of those gained on the very last practice lap.
Now that's driving under pressure! Then, after his confrontation with Tracy,
he rejoins the race in last with 17 cars still in. In the final 10 minutes,
he moves all the way up to 4th! Is this guy the reincarnation of Gilles?
PRUETT: If you walked up to a Hollywood executive and proposed a story
about a race car driver who mortgages his future to buy his first Indy car
ride, then has a horrifying test accident that nearly leaves him crippled,
then comes back and wins his first race in perhaps the greatest one lap duel
in history, then marries his longtime girlfriend but postpones his honeymoon,
and when he finally goes on his honeymoon, he wins his second race of his
career that weekend, you would be told "Independance Day" was more realistic.
ANDRETTI: Can you believe this is his greatest start ever for a season?
Considering Michael always gets better as the year progresses, should we give
him the PPG Cup now? And how about that amazing weaving in and out of all
that debris avoiding it all? It was busier than a video arcade game.
CUTTING THE CHICANES: Okay, first it was Zanardi and that amazing pass at
Laguna Seca. To this day, Jean still insists it never should have been
allowed. I've been willing to let it go. But now, this is getting out of
hand. How many times do we have to listen to the explanation that the pass
was already completed before the driver left the course to cut the corner?
Well of course it was already completed, because the guy never braked which
is why he had to leave the track in the first place. If this isn't using a
shortcut to your advantage, then what the hell is? Imagine this in other
sports, "Well Mr. Umpire, I was going so fast that if I stepped on third while
rounding the bases, it would have caused a tremendous wipeout, so I just went
from second base straight to home." For crying out loud -- out of bounds is
out of bounds! Penalize these guys!!
CART OFFICIATING: Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, along comes
the two white flags. I wonder how Ribiero feels when he thought he had 4th
place only to find out he was indeed not on his last lap and fell back to 6th.
If you signal the last lap, you have to stick with it. Well, at least it is
not as bad as USAC officiating. Yet.
SURFER'S PARADISE: Paradise is right. That place is gorgeous. However, I
want to know, how many perks did the ABC guys get for showing all those
chamber of commerce shots? Plus, do all the woman in Australia look like
SCHEDULE: So, they go from a 5 week break right into back to back
intercontinental races having to travel all the way from Australia to Long
Beach in one week. I sure feel sorry for those crew guys.
LONG BEACH: How many times has someone without a last name of Unser or
Andretti won this race? Not too often. Just 3 times in the 13 years it has
been an Indy car event. My money is on Andretti, with Unser in second. Or
the other way around...
Copyright © 1997 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.