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Tom's IndyCar Race Reports

Round 1, Miami, March 5, 1995

By Tom Bromberger

The 27 starters of the Miami IndyCar grand Prix on Sunday, March the 5th, 1995, were greeted by a record crowd. With one pacelap to go the excitement grew as the season was about to begin. As the pace car pulled off, Michael Andretti, the polesitter, used his Mercedes engine to lift the speed. As the green flag fell, and most cars were fighting for position, Michael pulled away from Mauricio Gugelmin. One the second lap, Paul Tracy had brake problems as he went into the chicane, and subsequently missed the corner and hit the wall.

After moving to third, rookie Gil de Ferran slowed with a gearbox problem, and Al User Jr. (Little Al) moved to 7th. On his first pit stop in IndyCar racing, Brazilian Christian Fittipaldi ran over the left rear

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tyre than head been taken off his car. He escaped unscathed, apart from a black flag (stop-go penalty).

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While Eddie Cheever spun his Lola, Michael Andretti sprinted into a ten second lead. Andre Ribiero crashed with Adrian Fernandez and brought out the yellows. On the first lap of the restart Dennis Vitolo made contact with the wall and went to the pits for a new nose. Little Al was having electrical problems at this time, and his team mate, and uncle of Christian, Emerson Fittipaldi was also having electrical problems, yet his were terminal.

Because of his delays in the pitlane, Little Al was in 21st position and 5 laps down. Alessandro Zampedri took a closer look at the Miami skyline when he mounted the tyres. Robby Gordonís throttle was sticking (great fun, especially on a street circuit!), as Stefan Johansson pulled onto the grass to bring a stop to his race. On Michael Andrettís next stop, it was noticed that had a broken control arm on this

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right front suspension, thought to have been broken when he kissed the wall while trying to put a lap on Eliseo Salazar.

This incident placed, for the first time, Mauricio Gugelmin in the lead of the race. As Pruett was moving

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to fourth, Dennis Vitoloís engine let go. In his second season in IndyCars, the 1994 Rookie of The Year Jacques Villeneuve overtook Gugelmin and now controlled the race. While Danny Sullivan was trying to hold off Rooby Gordon, he spun his Reynard, and Gordon went by, and took 5th place.

Eliseo Salazar's engine spectaculary blew up just before Bryan Herta, heavily injured in a crash at Toronto last year, drove into the tyres. A supposed mechanical problem prevented Gordon from taking a sweeping right-hander, and he buried himself in the tyres. This brought out the yellows, and 2 hour race rule (this year the races will be stopped, apart from the 500 mile races, after either the advertised

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number of laps, or 2 hours) was coming dangerously close.

In the short journey from the yellows to the finish, Jacques was able to keep Mauricio Gugelmin, Bobby Rahal, and Scott Pruett at bay. Rookie Christian Fittipaldi finished5ht, and Raul Boesel 6th. 7th was Christian Danner, 8th Jimmy Vasser, 9th Danny Sullivan, and 10th finished Bryan Herta.

The main surprise of the race was the absence of the red and white cars of Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi. Little Al could only manage a 15th place. We'll find out who the championship contenders will be as the season progresses, and whoís been doing the most work over the winter. Lola and Reynard have obviously made a lot improvements to their cars, while Penske isnít showing any signs of trying to get a lead on the field early in the season.

Iíll be doing a report on every IndyCar and Formula One race that is broadcasted in my area. Like you, I canít wait until Surferís Paradise, so see ya then!

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1 - Jaques Villeneuve
2 - Mauricio Gugelmin
3 - Bobby Rahal
4 - Scott Pruett
5- Christian Fittipaldi
6 - Raul Boesel

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8 - Jimmy Vasser

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9 - Danny Sullivan
10 - Bryan Herta

Image not available for 11, unknown.

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I get this information from broadcasts on the Nine Network Australiaís Nineís ĎWide World of Sportsí. Thanks!

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James Bromberger (james@rcpt.to)