Indy Electric Challenge results still pending for OSU
28 May 1999COLUMBUS, OH--The Ohio State Formula Lightning electric race team is still waiting for a ruling on a protest filed following the Indy Electric Classic at Indianapolis Raceway Park on May 22. The OSU entry was credited with a third place finish due to an apparent timing and scoring error. A comparison of Bowling Green and OSU lap times indicate that the Smokin Buckeye won by half a lap.
The Smokin Buckeye, piloted by Warren White, qualified third and joined an intense battle for the lead at the start of the race. The Bowling Green State University and IUPUI entries battled side by side for the lead for the first four laps. The pair exchanged the lead several times and occasionally made contact.
On the fifth lap, leader BGSU lost control entering the first turn on the .686-mile oval and hit the outside wall. IUPUI spun while attempting to miss the accident and also tapped the wall. White, made an evasive move to the bottom of the track, but was struck from behind by Kettering University. The Kettering entry made hard contact with the wall, while White made a complete 360, narrowly avoiding the wall and other cars, and was able to continue. Kettering driver, Tom Bagley, was uninjured, but his car was not able to continue. BGSU and IUPUI were able to continue with only cosmetic damage.
After the race restarted, White maintained a comfortable lead until he pitted for new batteries on lap 13 of 25. The OSU crew performed a nearly flawless pit stop and White returned to the track. Following the stop, the track scoreboard showed OSU in third place behind BGSU and IUPUI.
"It is unfortunate that due to a timing and scoring error Bowling Green was scored one half lap ahead (instead of behind) following the pit stops," said OSU faculty advisor Giorgio Rizzoni. "OSU stayed out of trouble and was very competitive during the race, realizing a significant advantage during the pit stop. OSU has supplied its data and lap times to the race officials and is awaiting an official decision on the results of the race."
"Even though we were in third place at the beginning of the race, we had the best car," said White. "I had to stay back from them (BGSU and IUPUI) because they were side by side and I had no place to go. I could see the grandstands while I was spinning and they were on my right side when I stopped, so I knew I was pointed in the right direction. I drove down the backstretch and swerved back and forth to make sure the car was okay. After the race restarted nobody was close to our pace and we had an awesome pit stop. I am glad that I was able to survive the "Bagley bump" and continue in one piece."
The Smokin Buckeye will be in action at Tustin Thunder in Tustin, Calif. on June 11-13. Over 500 vintage road racing cars are expected to attend the event which will take place on a temporary 2.2-mile road course that utilizes the runways and taxiways of the Marine Corps. Air Station.