1997 Molson Indy Vancouver
|Race 15 of 17 in the 1997 CART season|
|Date||August 31, 1997|
|Official name||Molson Indy Vancouver|
|Location||Streets of Vancouver, British Columbia|
1.703 mi / 2.741 km
|Distance||100 laps, 170.300 mi / 274.071 km|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 22.2 °C (72.0 °F) with stable wind speeds throughout|
|Driver||Alex Zanardi||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Driver||Alex Zanardi||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Time||55.136 (on lap 82 of 100)|
|First||Mauricio Gugelmin||PacWest Racing|
|Second||Jimmy Vasser||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Third||Gil de Ferran||Walker Racing|
The 1997 Molson Indy Vancouver was the 15th round of the 1997 CART season. At that time, the Italian driver Alex Zanardi was the leader of the standings with 39 points in front of the French-Brazilian driver Gil de Ferran.
- Alex Zanardi 54.025 seconds
- Bobby Rahal 54.351 seconds
- Jimmy Vasser 54.386 seconds
- Michael Andretti 54.419 seconds
- Mauricio Gugelmin 54.505 seconds
- Bryan Herta 54.542 seconds
- Gil de Ferran 54.553 seconds
- Mark Blundell 54.600 seconds
- Greg Moore 54.614 seconds
- Dario Franchitti 54.655 seconds
- Scott Pruett 54.750 seconds
- Raul Boesel 55.052 seconds
- André Ribeiro 55.090 seconds
- Christian Fittipaldi 55.118 seconds
- Michel Jourdain, Jr. 55.183 seconds
- Adrian Fernandez 55.315 seconds
- Paul Tracy 55.535 seconds
- Parker Johnstone 55.635 seconds
- Max Papis 55.930 seconds
- Roberto Moreno 55.962 seconds
- Richie Hearn 56.027 seconds
- Al Unser, Jr. 56.028 seconds
- Christian Danner 56.068 seconds
- Juan Manuel Fangio II 56.241 seconds
- PJ Jones 56.373 seconds
- Hiro Matsushita 58.508 seconds
- Dennis Vitolo 1:02:557
- Gualter Salles No time
First 30 laps
At the start, Dennis Vitolo stalled his engine at turn 3. But he continued in the race. The Penske Racing driver Paul Tracy had a collision with a driver at the chicane. The driver, probably, was André Ribeiro. First caution came out, as Dennis Vitolo had a contact with a tyre wall. PJ Jones went to the pits at the time of the full course caution. Restart came out very soon, but Michel Jourdain, Jr. was spun by Al Unser, Jr. in the final corner. But he was back on the field. After 9 laps, the top 6 was: Alex Zanardi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Mauricio Gugelmin, Michael Andretti and Bryan Herta. At lap 16, Zanardi missed the hairpin. When he would come back to the race, his engine had stalled. But he remained in the race, although, lost many positions. At lap 20, PJ Jones retired due to an engine failure. At lap 26, Vasser took the lead after overtaking Rahal at turn 10.
Lap 31 - Lap 60
At lap 35, Bobby Rahal retired after a transmission failure. At lap 47, Richie Hearn was hit by Michel Jourdain, Jr. at turn 10. This caused a full course caution. Restart came out at lap 53. At lap 54, Alex Zanardi hit Bryan Herta at turn 10, and, at the chicane, Scott Pruett had hit the back of the car of Adrian Fernandez. Another catuion. Restart came out at lap 57.
Lap 61 - Lap 80
Then, Greg Moore had some damages in his right-front suspension at lap 64. At lap 68, Zanardi did an amazing overtaking manoeuvre on Michael Andretti at Turn 3 (The hairpin). Right after this, Andretti suffered problems on his suspension, and retired from the race.
Last 20 laps
With 18 laps to go, Alex Zanardi stalled his engine at the hairpin (Turn 3) again. He came back to the race at 10th place. The top 6 at the following lap was: Bryan Herta, Mauricio Gugelmin, Jimmy Vasser, Al Unser, Jr., Gil de Ferran and Mark Blundell. With 14 laps to go, Zanardi knocked Herta out at the chicane, right after the hairpin. Despite the collision, Herta did not retire. At the last lap, Christian Fittipaldi crashed at turn 10 and retired, but was classified 9th.
- Mauricio Gugelmin
- Jimmy Vasser
- Gil de Ferran
- Alex Zanardi
- Al Unser, Jr.
- Raul Boesel
- Mark Blundell
- Bryan Herta
- Christian Fittipaldi retired, but was classified
- André Ribeiro +1 lap
- Parker Johnstone +1 lap
- Juan Manuel Fangio II +2 laps
- Dario Franchitti retired, but was classified
- Hiro Matsushita +6 laps
- Roberto Moreno Steering
- Michael Andretti Contact
- Greg Moore Contact
- Scott Pruett Contact
- Adrian Fernandez Contact
- Max Papis Clutch
- Michel Jourdain, Jr. Contact
- Richie Hearn Contact
- Christian Danner Engine
- Bobby Rahal Transmission
- PJ Jones Engine
- Gualter Salles Contact
- Dennis Vitolo Contact
- Paul Tracy Contact
- After his collision with Bryan Herta, Alex Zanardi was fined after the race.
- This was the last time that CART had run in Vancouver's original track. From 1998, CART had used another track.
- Mauricio Gugelmin won for the first and only time in his CART career.
- "1997 Molson Indy Vancouver weather information". Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-07-13.