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BUHL LEADS G FORCE RUNNERS IN TOUGH DAY AT GATEWAY

INDY RACING LEAGUE
Source — G-Force
Date Posted — August 25, 2002
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BUHL LEADS G FORCE RUNNERS IN TOUGH DAY AT GATEWAY

MADISON, Illinois -- Robbie Buhl completed the Gateway Indy 250 as the top G Force chassis in 6th place today in a race of misfortune for the American chassis manufacturer.

Buhl finished in 6th place but team-mate Sarah Fisher and fellow front-runner Felipe Giaffone failed to complete the race while top G Force qualifier Jeff Ward endured a troubled event after having to make an early pit stop with a sticking throttle.

Buhl was pleased to be in contention at the finish after a season hindered with engine problems.

"We're not happy with a sixth-place finish because we still want to win races and be on the podium, but with the way our season has gone, we're happy to finish," Buhl said.

"For us, at this point, we want to keep the leaders in sight, concentrate on good pit stops and a have a good car."

Giaffone fell out of the event with engine problems, handing a heavy blow to his championship aspirations after running with the leaders in the early stages of the race.

"It's a shame. I heard a strange noise from the engine 40 laps before it broke, but he car was still good, so I just kept on going," Giaffone said.

"These things happen in racing. The car had no other problems. We lost some points in the championship, but it's not the end of the world. There are still 100 points to fight for."

Sarah Fisher also was an early retirement, suffering alternator and gearbox problems.

"Today was a tough race. This track is a lot more like a road course than an oval track," Fisher said.

"But our team worked extremely well together today during the race. We had several things we dealt with under the crunch, and we were starting to work our way back through the field until the problems struck."

After a return to form as the top G Force qualifier, Ward's early pit stop took him out of contention.

"We had problems with the throttle sticking, and it wouldn't come off, then it wouldn't come on," Ward said.

"So that hurt me, but we just got loose at the beginning, came in and got a lap down. We got the car really good at the end and were running as fast or faster than the leaders, but when we got behind there was nothing we could do."

Part of Don Panoz's Elan Motorsport Technologies organization, the G Force headquarters in Georgia features full in-house design, fabrication, machining and composite construction facilities.

The American manufacturer has entered a major growth period, opening a new design center in the UK and recruiting new Chief Designer, Simon Marshall and new Chief Executive Officer, David Bowes. Both were previously at Lola Cars International Ltd.

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See also
Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on August 25, 2002. http://www.racingwest.com

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