What a race! Pippa Mann takes the lead in the championship with a shocking win at Road America after yet another series of errors for Daniel Moreno. The 20 Most Interesting Events from the USA GP
1. The start was awesome.
The race started with Daniel Moreno and Tom Douglas bogging down at the start which let Andrew Spokes into the lead from fourth on the grid. Christopherson got the inside line into Turn 1 and passed Douglas for second as Moreno fell behind Pippa Mann, Douglas, Cannon and Takagi. By the end of Lap 1, Daniel Moreno had fallen back into sixth place. John Zimmer also had an awful start and fell back to tenth. Meanwhile, Spokes and Christopherson continued to battle for the lead but Spokes gave way at Turn 8 which put the McLaren into the lead. Further back, Tom Douglas ran wide at Turn 8 after passing Cannon and went into the gravel trap. He was quickly followed by Ben Fleet and Niko Nurminen who collided and landed in the gravel trap. Pablo da Silva also got knocked into the gravel. In Douglas' haste to get back onto the track, he unsafely re-entered and crashed into Robert Anderson's Pacific, earning him two penalty points on his license. 2. Spokes and Christopherson collided.
As the rest of the field completed Lap 1, Spokes and Christopherson pulled out lead of 1.8 seconds over Pippa Mann in third. Spokes began to line up Christopherson on the front straight and dived down the inside into Turn 1. Christopherson squeezed Spokes onto the curb and left Andrew nowhere to go except straight into the McLaren's sidepod. Christopherson failed to make the turn and went into the gravel trap, shattering his front wing. Spokes' loss in momentum allowed Pippa Mann to sweep past into the lead. The stewards deemed it a racing incident. 3. O'Caiohmin and Scrattenheim ended up in the gravel.
Later on in the lap, Eadbhard O'Caiohmin passed Rory McAllister and Pablo da Silva for ninth. However, McAllister decided to pass da Silva at Turn 13. Unfortunately, Rory forgot to brake and he T-Boned the Tyrrell into the gravel. For that, McAllister gained two points on his license. Further back, Jorg Scrattenheim spun off at Turn 5. 4. Moreno made up six places and took the lead.
Meanwhile, Daniel Moreno quickly made up for his awful start by overtaking everyone in his path. By the end of Lap 3, Moreno had passed Pippa Mann and taken the lead. 5. Chaos reigned.
Miko Fakkinen went off at Turn 5 on Lap 3. Douglas Mann, who was driving excellently, tried to pass John Zimmer at Turn 8 on Lap 4 but he overshot the exit and landed in the gravel. On Lap 5, Fakkinen tried an ambitious move on Anton Kaliniczenko into Turn 5 but missed completely and crashed into Jorg Scrattenheim's Footwork. 6. Giovanni Roda and Pablo da Silva collided.
I'll keep this one short. Roda and da Silva were battling for position. da Silva tried to pass but the two cars collided, sending da Silva into the air. Upon landing, da Silva's wheel detached and Roda spun out. The stewards deemed Roda was at fault and docked two points on his license.7. Jack Christopherson and Ben Fleet collided.
Jack Christopherson tried to pass both Miko Fakkinen and Ben Fleet at Turn 5. He nearly did it but he tagged Fleet's DAMS and crashed into the gravel trap. He was knocked out of the race. Fleet was left in the gravel trap for a full three minutes before returning onto the track. He earned two points on his license for parking his car on the curbing for two laps. Fleet spun again later on and retired.8. Kazuhiko Takagi got a puncture but made it to the pits.
Kaz Takagi is legendary for being extremely unlucky but he caught a break on Lap 14 when he picked up a puncture. He was able to make it back to the pits and rejoin with an extra pit stop. Of course, he also had a spin into the gravel on Lap 18.9. Tom Douglas retired with an engine failure.
Tom Douglas retired from the race with an engine failure on Lap 17. He received one point on his license for pointlessly ramming Leonhard von Gottorp off the road on Lap 10.10. Miko Fakkinen threw the car into the scenery multiple times.
Miko Fakkinen crashed and burned his way through the race, eventually playing a pivotal role in the proceedings. By my count, Fakkinen spun four times, colliding with Robert Anderson and Scrattenheim in the process (which earned him two points from the stewards). He also played a pivotal role during the latter stages of the race.11. Reliability problems plagued the Ligiers and Tyrrells.
Once again, the Ligiers and the Tyrrells all failed to finish the race. Douglas Mann retired with suspension problems (possible due to his earlier off) and Reiko Megumi retired from a competitive position with a brake failure. Clivio Durand had a broken engine and Eadbhard O'Caiohmin ended his miserable day with a transmission failure.12. Everyone chose to run a one-stop strategy.
The pits at Road America are really long.
13. Miko Fakkinen and Jorg Scrattenheim had the best battle of the race.
Miko Fakkinen and Jorg Scrattenheim had an epic battle for sixteenth place. Both drivers switched positions seven times through four laps before Scrattenheim finally got ahead of the Minardi. 14. Daniel Moreno slid into the gravel trap while trying to lap Fakkinen.
ARGH! Daniel Moreno's choke season continued on Lap 38 when he came up to lap Miko Fakkinen's Minardi. Fakkinen did nothing but Moreno went straight on at Turn 5 and landed in the gravel trap. Pippa Mann raced past and took the lead. 15. Both Benettons did not finish the race.
Andrew Spokes and John Zimmer were running third and fourth respectively when their cars broke down within five laps of each other. With Williams taking another 1-2, it seems that the Benettons have been forced out of the championship battle. Spokes, Tom Douglas and Zimmer have all made critical mistakes that have allowed Williams to break away into the distance.16. Pippa Mann won the race.
Pippa Mann's victory leaves Daniel Moreno with three weeks of soul-searching as he has now gifted three victories to Pippa through idiotic spins. Now Pippa Mann leads the championship by two points and she has four wins to Moreno's two. 17. Daniel Moreno ran out of fuel.
Somehow, the Williams technicians and strategists royally bathplugged up and did not give Moreno enough fuel to finish the race! He was the only one who ran out of fuel at the end although it didn't matter because he was the only driver on the lead lap. Moreno's car rolled down the front straight and he managed to finish thirty-seven seconds behind Pippa Mann.18. Kazuhiko Takagi finished in third!
If I still awarded IIDOTR, Takagi would definitely get it for his incredible drive to third place. Takagi has now finished in the top points for three consecutive races. Funnily enough, Takagi was the only driver who had an extra lap of fuel in his car which meant that he was left alone on the podium for ten minutes as Pippa Mann and the rest were brought back to the pits. 19. Jordan scored another double-points finish.20. Reject of the Race goes to Miko Fakkinen.
Honorable mentions to: Jack Christopherson, Benetton, Daniel Moreno, the Williams fuel strategists, Ben Fleet, Rory McAllister, Tom Douglas, Clivio Durand, Tyrrell, Ligier, Douglas Mann and Kazuyoshi Hoshino.Things That Weren't Interesting Enough
* Clivio Durand broke his front wing on the first lap.
* Martin McFry and Giovanni Roda made unscheduled stops.
* Benetton stacked their pit stops.
* Damon Cannon drove very well.
* Both Pacifics retired.
* McAllister had a brake problem.Leaders:
J. Christopherson: 1
Pippa Mann: 2
Daniel Moreno: 3-23
Pippa Mann: 24-29
Daniel Moreno: 30-37
Pippa Mann: 38-55Penalties:
Tom Douglas +3 Unsafe Reentry, collision with von Gottorp
Rory McAllister +2 collision with O'Caiohmin
Miko Fakkinen +2 collisions with Scrattenheim, Anderson
Giovanni Roda +2 collision with Pablo da Silva
Ben Fleet +2 placed car in dangerous position on Turn 5Drivers' Championship
1. Pippa Mann - 58
2. Daniel Moreno - 56
3. John Zimmer - 29
4. Andrew Spokes - 27
5. Tom Douglas - 16
6. Kazuhiko Takagi - 9
= Leonhard von Gottorp - 9
= Rory McAllister - 9
9. Damon Cannon - 8
10. James Davies - 5
11. Jack Christopherson - 4
12. Masta Valsattis - 3
13. Gio van Dycke - 1
= Douglas Mann - 1Constructors' Championship
1. Williams - 114
2. Benetton - 56
3. Ferrari - 24
4. McLaren - 18
5. Jordan - 17
6. Sauber - 3
7. Minardi - 1
= Ligier - 1Penalty Standings
1. Artiom Zielenkovski - 4
2. Tom Douglas - 3
= Martin McFry - 3
4. Andrew Spokes - 2
= Rory McAllister - 2
= Giovanni Roda - 2
= Ben Fleet - 2
= Miko Fakkinen - 2
8. Kazuyoshi Hoshino - 1