1996 Molson Indy Toronto

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The 1996 Molson Indy Toronto was an IndyCar Series race held on the street course at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 14, 1996. The race was won by Adrian Fernandez, driving the #32 Tecate Lola/Honda for Tasman Motorsports, but was marred by an accident late in the race which resulted in the death of rookie driver Jeff Krosnoff.

Qualifying[edit]

Twenty-eight drivers qualified for the race. The front row consisted of polesitter Andre Ribeiro, driving the #31 LCI International Lola/Honda for Tasman Motorsports, and Alex Zanardi, driving the #4 Target/Reynard Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.[1]

Lineup
Pos No. Driver Sponsor Tires Chassis Engine Team
1 31 Brazil Andre Ribeiro LCI International Firestone Lola Honda Tasman Motorsports
2 4 Italy Alex Zanardi Target Firestone Reynard Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
3 32 Mexico Adrian Fernandez Tecate Firestone Lola Honda Tasman Motorsports
4 20 United States Scott Pruett Firestone Firestone Lola Cosworth Patrick Racing
5 99 Canada Greg Moore Player's Firestone Reynard Cosworth Forsythe Racing
6 49 United States Parker Johnstone Motorola Firestone Reynard Honda Comptech Racing
7 2 United States Al Unser, Jr. Marlboro Goodyear Penske Mercedes-Benz Marlboro Team Penske
8 18 United States Bobby Rahal Miller Genuine Draft Goodyear Reynard Mercedes-Benz Team Rahal
9 8 Brazil Gil de Ferran Pennzoil Goodyear Reynard Honda Jim Hall Racing
10 6 United States Michael Andretti Kmart/Havoline Goodyear Lola Cosworth Newman/Haas Racing
11 12 United States Jimmy Vasser Target Firestone Reynard Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
12 28 United States Bryan Herta Shell Goodyear Reynard Mercedes-Benz Team Rahal
13 3 Canada Paul Tracy Marlboro Goodyear Penske Mercedes-Benz Marlboro Team Penske
14 11 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi Kmart/Budweiser Goodyear Lola Cosworth Newman/Haas Racing
15 9 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Marlboro Goodyear Penske Mercedes-Benz Hogan/Penske Racing
16 21 United Kingdom Mark Blundell VISA Goodyear Reynard Cosworth PacWest Racing
17 17 Brazil Mauricio Gugelmin Hollywood Cigarettes Goodyear Reynard Cosworth PacWest Racing
18 5 United States Robby Gordon Valvoline/Cummins Goodyear Reynard Cosworth Walker Racing
19 1 Brazil Raul Boesel Brahma Firestone Reynard Honda Brahma Sports Team/Team Green
20 25 United States Jeff Krosnoff MCI Firestone Reynard Toyota Arciero-Wells Racing
21 16 Sweden Stefan Johansson Alumax Goodyear Reynard Mercedes-Benz Bettenhausen Racing
22 34 Brazil Roberto Moreno MiJack Goodyear Lola Cosworth Payton/Coyne Racing
23 15 Canada Scott Goodyear Valvoline/Cummins Goodyear Reynard Cosworth Walker Racing
24 10 United States Eddie Lawson Delco Electronics Goodyear Lola Mercedes-Benz Galles Racing
25 98 United States P.J. Jones All American Racers Goodyear Eagle Toyota All American Racers
26 44 United States Richie Hearn Food 4 Less Goodyear Lola Cosworth Della Penna Motorsports
27 36 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio II All American Racers Goodyear Eagle Toyota All American Racers
28 19 Japan Hiro Matsushita Panasonic Firestone Lola Cosworth Payton/Coyne Racing

Media coverage[edit]

ABC carried the race in the United States, with Paul Page as the race announcer and former IndyCar series regular Danny Sullivan as the color man. Gary Gerould, Jerry Punch, and Jack Arute were the pit crew. In Europe, the race was carried over Eurosport which utilized ABC's feed.

Race recap[edit]

Although Ribeiro started on pole, Zanardi (who went on to win the series Rookie of the Year award) quickly passed him and led the first lap. He stayed in front until lap 37 when Greg Moore took the point, but regained the lead two laps later and held until lap 65. Bobby Rahal led lap 66 and Adrian Fernandez took the lead on lap 67. Moore got back in front on lap 68 and led for ten laps until Fernandez once again moved to the front on lap 78.

Fatal incident[edit]

On lap 92 of the scheduled 95-lap race, the accident that killed Krosnoff took place. Krosnoff, Ribeiro, and Stefan Johansson were all multiple laps down at this point in the race but were still jockeying for position. Entering turn three of the track, the lapped car of Johansson tried to pass Gil de Ferran. Krosnoff was running next to Johansson and Ribeiro was ahead of all three of those cars.

As Johansson made his turn to pass de Ferran, he clipped Krosnoff's car and sent it flying into the catch fencing lining the side of the course. Krosnoff's car's body disintegrated on impact and the cockpit of the car landed on the opposite side of the track. Krosnoff's car was so heavily damaged that the back portion of the car continued to move after the accident. Johansson came to rest in the runoff area directly across from turn three and Ribeiro hit Krosnoff's rear end as he tried to make the turn and followed Johansson into the runoff area. As the IndyCar safety crew tried to attend to the accident scene, which was littered with debris from Krosnoff's car, Eddie Lawson came barreling toward the scene unaware of what had just taken place. IndyCar officials frantically waved to Lawson to tell him to slow down, which he did just before he reached the scene, and he was able to continue on through.

Shortly after this, IndyCar officials threw a red flag along with the checkered flag, ending the race a few laps before its scheduled finish. Krosnoff was removed from the wreck and transported to Toronto's Western Hospital where he was pronounced dead.[2] Dr. Steve Olvey of the IndyCar series said that Krosnoff was killed on impact, and Dr. Hugh Scully of the race medical staff relayed word that a track marshal had also been killed when Krosnoff's car hit a light pole behind the fence.

Aftermath[edit]

Krosnoff's death was the second in American open-wheel racing series in 1996, after Indy Racing League driver Scott Brayton was killed in practice for that year's Indianapolis 500. It was also the last death in what eventually became the Champ Car World Series until 1999- coincidentally, that year also featured two deaths as Gonzalo Rodriguez was killed in a practice crash at Laguna Seca and Greg Moore was killed during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1996 Molson Indy Toronto - Racing-Reference.info". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Jeff Krosnoff and Gary Arvin Die in Car Wreck at Molson Indy Toronto". theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
Previous race:
1996 Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland
IndyCar World Series
1996 season
Next race:
1996 Marlboro 500

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