Australia 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 3
Pruett Leads The Way To Oz

©1996 SpeedCenter Internet Publishing, Inc.
Author: Jim DeFord
With a fourth at Homestead and a third at Brazil, Scott Pruett leads the fight for the 1996 PPG Cup as the teams prepare for IndyCar Australia. But Honda may end up dominating the hunt for the IndyCar Championship.

Current engine score:

Honda: 2
Ford: 0
Mercedes: 0
Toyota: 0

Pruettís comments on the power of Honda tells the story, "I think Ford Cosworth needs to do a little bit more work. It looks like Honda is the dominant engine. I think thatís pretty much agreeable to everybody that has seen the first two races. They have gone through their ups and downs, and have showed that they have the commitment and the dedication it took to weather the storms and make it through to the clear weather and the smooth sailing that they are having right now."

Ford-Cosworth driver, Scott Pruett (26 points), leads Hondaís Jimmy Vasser (25) by one slim point.

But, will Honda have the low-end torque to be competitive at IndyCarís street and road courses?

Honda has not performed well on anything other than an oval, though first-year Honda driver, Bobby Rahal was the first to put Honda on the podium with a second-place finish at Toronto in 1994. Rahal elected himself out of the Honda development program when he (and Honda) failed to qualify for the 1994 Indy 500.

Paul Tracy is the defending champion of the race "down-under." But, last year, he was in a Newman-Haas/Lola/Ford. For 1996, however, Tracy is back in the red & white Penske/Mercedes. Paul has suffered gearbox and contact problems in his first two races, respectively.

Rookie driver, Greg Moore has been blazingly fast, but has made some serious mistakes, which have resulted in "unfortunates" at both Homestead and Brazil. Once Greg gathers his IndyCar "legs" he will be a force that the points leaders will have to deal with.

In the first two races, the competition has been so intense with Vasser (Homestead Winner), Ribiero (Rio 400 Winner) and Gordon, Pruett, Unser, Rahal, Moore, and Zanardi, it is impossible to make a call!

Who could have imagined it could be better than this!