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Home > International > CART The American Memorial 2001
Event info
Date : September 13-15, 2001
Present : Lauri Ouvinen and Ville Tikkaoja
Photos : 64

CART series and oval racing finally made its way to Europe and the first race was held in Germany at the Eurospeedway Lausitz. But unfortunately the event was shadowed first by the terrorist attacks in the USA (the reason to rename the race's name from German 500 to The American Memorial) and then in the race itself by the horrifying accident involving Alex Zanardi and Alex Tagliani, where Zanardi eventually lost both of his legs. This was a very sad end to the week. The race had been good up until then and even Zanardi seemed to be in his old form leading the race just before the accident. Unfortunately it was not ment to be. We at Racing Images hope Zanardi can recover from his injuries as well as possible. We also would like this gallery to be in honor of Alex Zanardi - the two times CART champion.

Then to the story of our trip.. Having been following Champ Car racing for many years we had been planning on going to this race from the day the plans to organize the race was announced. At the beginning of the year we were also quite lucky as we managed to win two weekend tickets for the race, so it was then reallity that we would be going there. We took flights to Berlin and stayed at Dresden, from where we had to take a train each day to get to the track.

Unfortunately there were a lot of rain clouds over Germany at that time and the rain kept the cars away from the track the whole Thursday. This was quite a blow for us as we had planned to go to the main grandstand (where you had access on Thursday with any tickets) and get photos from the pitlane. It also rained a little on Friday morning and for a while it seemed whether they get the chance ever to run the cars. But the rain stopped quite early and kept away the rest of the day. It took a lot of time to dry up the track, but eventually the cars got running for two hour practise session at 15:20 local time. The qualifying was abandoned and the starting grid was determined by championship points. The race day on Saturday was completely dry. During the days the weather was also quite cold and you really had to have some clothes on you.

It was finally great to be able to see these cars in action. As usual we took quite a lot of photos. However, we were not very pleased with them. But this was our first experience of photographying oval racing, so let's put it at that :) The main distraction was the high depris fencing around the track and you had to take the photos mostly by panning with slow shutter speed to get rid of the fence showing too much on the photos. This time we were using only Fuji Superia X-TRA 400 film.

At CART races you can also get to the pits, so we also bought tickets there for Thursday. We were quite surprised how kindly the teams showed their cars to public. Almost every teams' cars were on display. You could even get into PacWest's and Bettenhausen's garages to take as close look to the cars as you wanted. So this was very much in contrast to the Formula 1, where it's very hard to be able to get this close to the cars.


Gallery header links:

Alex Zanardi
Track action
Pits & paddock
Miscellaneous

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Alex Zanardi
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