Vancouver 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 15

Molson Indy Vancouver
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
August 30 - September 1, 1996

The Molson Indy Vancouver
By Jim DeFord
©1996 SpeedCenter Internet Publishing, Inc.

It all comes down to five drivers. That's the number ofIndyCar drivers who even have a glimmer of a chance at the 1996PPG World Series Championship.

Jimmy Vasser still leads the hunt, but has not been producinga whole lot of points since the U.S. 500. His best outing sincethen was at the IndyCar race at Mid Ohio, where hefinished second and jumped, what was, a single-digit points-leadinto what is now a 21-point lead. Al Unser Juior lost further ground at Elkhart Lake, while Jimmy Vasser finished 6th.

Al had the race at Elkhart Lake under control until hisIlmor-built -- Mercedes powerplant exploded in dramatic fashionon the white-flag lap.

One important aspect about the upcoming event at Vancouver is that so farall wins at this track have been scored by either Unser or Andretti. No other driverhas won at that track yet. Both of these drivers have a lot of reason to fight foryet another win this season.

Here is a list of the only drivers that have achance for the PPG Cup:

1    JIMMY VASSER          1362    AL UNSER JR           1153    ALEX ZANARDI          1094    MICHAEL ANDRETTI      1075    CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI   93

...and any attempt to predict who will win the PPG Cup isfruitless, but the money is (obviously) on Vasser and Unser,but.....

A great long-shot bet would be for rookie-of-the-yearcontender, Alex Zanardi who has found his IndyCar niche inbecoming the most consistent, and winning driver in thesecond-half of the season.

After the Detroit Grand Prix, which marked the mid-way pointin the season, Zanardi was 18th in the standings, with a mere 17points, and now he lays-in-waiting in the 3rd spot, a mere 27points behind his teammate, and points-leader, Jimmy Vasser.

Stalking Jimmy Vasser is Al Unser, Jr., the defending 1995Molson Indy Vancouver Champion. And not too far behind Unser andZanardi, is Michael Andretti, who also has a slew of Vancouvertrophys in his case and four wins for Cosworth in 1996.

It's tight, it's hot. This is IndyCar Racing.