Vancouver 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 15

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

Sunday Quotes from drivers and managers at Concord Pacific Place, Vancouver, Canada:
Index of Quotes available

Vasser Pict #12 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


[finished seventh]: "We weren't doing any cruising [for championship points] today! We were racing hard the whole way. At the end of the race, I don't know what Bryan [Herta] was doing. If it had been me, I'd have let them go on and fight for the championship. He was slow on the track and I've got to be thinking of the championship and not make any low percentage moves and he's blocking me. I hope he feels like a hero. It's a traffic situation, and I know it's 'just racing,' but sometimes the [race] officials can make a call on that, too.

[On being black-flagged for a pit speed violation] "It's all buttons and electronics nowadays, and I had the button pushed the whole time, and the light [indicating that the speed limiter was working, was on, so I don't know what went wrong. So now, we'll just be going racing again next week [at Laguna Seca]."

Magnussen Pict #3 Marlboro
Penske Mercedes


[finished 21st]: "I had no idea my car was on fire until I looked at the big video screen at Turn 4. The crew had been yelling at me to stop, but I didn't realize it was because I was on fire, not until I looked up at the TV and looked back at the engine cowling!

"We were doing quite well, actually, after starting 19th. I was trying to be cautious and patient in passing, because this is a very difficult track for overtaking. We're not really sure what caused the fire, but we think it might be a wastegate clamp. The gear change had stopped working at the end of the previous lap, so we knew there were problems leading to the end of the race. The Hogan Penske crew will figure it out and get the car ready for Laguna Seca."

Andretti Pict #6 Kmart/Texaco/Havoline
Lola Ford Cosworth XD


[finished first]: "I don't think Jimmy's going to sleep very good this week. I had to back off near the end of the race because we were trying to conserve fuel. I saw Bobby back off too so I knew we were all in the same boat. [On Zanardi] I knew it was a long race so I wanted to just stalk him for a while. Then I saw what happened to him. We did have a lot of bad luck at the middle of the season. We dropped out of six races and Jimmy has finished all of the races. Considering that, I think it's something that we are in it for the PPG Cup. To be in it still is remarkable. [On seven Vancouver races and only two different winners] It's real unusual. I'm not sure why I had had good luck here. I love racing in Canada. The courses suit my driving style well. It also is good for Bobby. I guess it's a track that suits the old folks. I was a little sore in the middle of the race but the adrenaline carried me through. When you're leading, nothing hurts. Victory is what it's all about. It's the best remedy out there. Maybe [the win in] Elkhart Lake was a good omen. The way we won today is the way I want to win. Not like at Elkhart Lake. Everybody wrote us off at mid-season but we kept our heads down and it really paid off."

Unser Pict #2 Marlboro
Penske Mercedes


[finished fifth]: "Marlboro Team Penske took a gamble in the pits today, and it didn't pay off. When we came in on Lap 59, we took on fuel only, because we thought we'd need it to finish the race. We thought the guys in front of us would have to come in again for fuel, too, but towards the end of the race, there were more caution laps than we thought there would be, and they ended up not having to stop again. The yellow flag got us. It's a shame, because the car was really working well. We're still in the hunt for the championship and anything can happen. Laguna Seca will be one heck of a battle."

C. Fittipaldi Pict #11 Kmart/Budweiser
Lola Ford
Newman/Haas Racing


[finished thrid]: "It was a tough race. I'm happy to finish third. We fought all the way from 14th to third. Before the race, I was disappointed that we qualified 14th but now it doesn't matter since we finished on the podium. The pressure is on Michael for the championship. He'll have little butterflies in his stomach next Sunday. I thought I got over my disappointment about Road America until today. If I had only lasted six more laps and won after Al blew, I'd be in there. Now I'm crying about Road America. When you have a failure, you just have to get back in there. I think that's what we did. No guts no glory! The team is very good. Michael has a good shot at the championship. I carried Newman's [team co-owner and actor Paul Newman] quarter with me for good luck. [Fittipaldi has carried it since the Detroit race that he almost won]. We ran the whole race very lean [on fuel mixture] which was very clever. That's what got us from 14th to third."

de Ferran Pict #8 Pennzoil Special
Reynard Honda
Hall Racing


"I got a reasonable start, but then I got boxed in at Turn 1. I passed one, then another car and was running 8th when I was able to come up behind Tracy. I was quicker than Tracy, but maybe I was too eager to get by him. I went deeper into the corner than I should and decided to let go of the brakes rather than cause a crash and drove into the shutoff area. I rejoined the race in 18th place, then made a mistake and went into the pits when they were closed. So I drove through and wound up in 20th place. After that I kept going and had a good race. It was a tough race — I have blisters on my hands, but it was a clean race and a lot of fun. In the end, I guess I enjoyed it. I might have finished third, if I didn't make that early mistake, but who knows?"

Herta Pict #28 Shell
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


[finished sixth]: "We thought we would be right up there with Bobby today, but we weren't there early in the race. At the end, I had a good battle with Jimmy [Vasser], and I think he felt I was blocking him. But I was racing for position and he never made an attempt to pass. I know he thinks I should have moved over, because he's in the championship race. But I couldn't face Bobby [Rahal, Herta's car owner], my crew, and the guys at Reynard, Mercedes and Goodyear if I just moved over for him. I needed the points, too. I'm sorry if Jimmy feels that way."

Johnstone Pict #49 Motorola
Reynard Honda
Brix Comptech Racing


"I was hit five times, but they were varying degrees of love taps. I think I had all four corners hit at one time or another. You would be pushed off line, and load up your tires with gunk. The car would feel like something was broken, but the tires would clean up and the handling would come back, more or less. Can't say these love taps improved our handling."

"We took the long term view: what can we learn from this race for next year. We know we have to improve the consistency of our car. We have done well at street courses, finishing second at Long Beach and never qualifying lower than eighth at street courses this year until this weekend. At Long Beach we had a car that was consistent. Not great, but predictable. Here, we had our Milwaukee car, but on a street course!"

Zanardi Pict #4 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


[finished 26th]: [On his contact with #98 PJ JONES] "He braked right in the middle of the circuit. How can he do that? I mean, he braked so early, even God would not have been able to avoid him. There was no gap either to the left or the right of him. I was just trying to be careful. It will not do any good to talk to him. That is for others to do, and hopefully, they will make the right decision. It was one of the worst days of this year. I'm so angry, like I've never been before. It was not bad luck, it just should not have happened. It cost us a shot at the championship."

Ribeiro Pict #31 LCI International
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


"The car was running very well. I had a good start and we were in sixth before the sixth pit stop where we lost several positions. I ran over a hose and had to go back through the pits which dropped us to 21st. We were moving back into the top-10 when I had contact in Turn Three and bent my suspension."

Fernandez Pict #32 Tecate Beer/Quaker State
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


""I was just trying to keep in front of Gil [de Ferran] but it wasn't that easy. Unfortunately on my braking point I thought I was braking in the same place but I couldn't turn the car and went straight. After that I was just holding on for the finish."

Johansson Pict #16 Bettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz


[finished 17th]: "It was my fault. I had been having a problem with oversteer all day. The car was pushing on the tight turns and even at full lock, I could hardly steer it. I just brushed the wall a little, but it was enough to put us out."

Rahal Pict #18 Miller Racing
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


[finished second]: "Canada has been awfully good to me, especially here in Vancouver. It's been our year, I guess [Rahal earlier finished third in the July 14 Molson Indy Toronto]. We tried to run Michael down at the end, but he did a great job. I was short-shifting and leaning out the fuel to get to the finish. I think we had three-tenths of a gallon left in the tank. I was very unlucky in traffic, and I wasn't able to get a run on Michael. Besides, catching him and passing him are two different things here. I'm not satisfied with second, because I want to win races. But our performances, with both Bryan [Herta] and myself have been strong in the second half of the season. This was just like the old days, with Michael, Al, Jr. and myself. It's like Toronto, too. We always seem to come here and run well."

Boesel Pict #1 Brahma Sports Team
Ford Cosworth


[finished 23rd]: "The car was running okay. We had a little bit of pickup on the tires and it got quite slippery, but we were running a good pace. The engine just went. I mean, there was no warning, the temperature and everything was fine, the engine just stopped. So, one more time we were on the sidelines. There's nothing else I can say."