Frankly Franchitti

The first thing to say is that we're all disappointed for the fans and everyone that we weren't racing at Texas on Sunday. But at the same time CART must be applauded. I think without question all the drivers stood behind what CART decided. Everybody thought it was the right thing to do. Paul Tracy and I - in fact most of the grid - were standing there with our race suits on ready to go on Sunday morning for the warm-up, so you can see what a big decision it was

Frankly Franchitti

I felt dizzy after Friday practice, and I had a pretty big headache, which I put down to the bumps... It was intense, it's a bloody fast place.

The problem is with the cars. It's not with the track. The track's not the problem. Our cars could be worked to slow down on the track, which is what I guess we'll do and come back.

We tested before the season and did 226mph straight away, on my third lap I think. Whatever, it was easy flat. But I don't think anyone expected us to gain so much in terms of speed between then and now. The whole thing is just progress. On Saturday all of a sudden my team mate Paul Tracy is doing 236, which is bloody quick. That's how fast things are developing.

People ask what does a lap of Texas feel like, and why's it different to other tracks? We're use to lateral Gs, but here the banking means you get a vertical load too. There's no real way to describe the feeling. It's like when you're on a rollercoaster and you hit the bottom... But really multiplied... I've never experienced anything like it.

It was quite an amazing feeling. You can actually feel the blood draining to your legs, and your organs shifting towards the right side of your body.

It's not that the cars are too quick, but the problem is that on the banking , the drivers were experiencing things we'd never experienced before. They even had advisors from NASA. And they were saying that humans cannot withstand that for prolonged periods of time. We were into the unknown. We were at the point where people normally pass out through to prolonged exposure to G forces. It could have happened. All the drivers are athletes, but these kind of G forces are a different thing. Each different person was having their own symptoms, and they were getting different effects.

I think it was a brave decision to make by CART - it would have been easier to put the drivers out and see what would have happened. They made a brave choice and definitely it was the right one.

It's a weird place. Anyone can drive round there flat in qualifying, it's flat, nailed. Then over the weekend it got a bit warmer, and we didn't quite get the car set-up dead on for qualifying. But it's so close and a tenth of a second would have put us fifth or something, but we didn't quite get that right. But in traffic we were hanging on, but that's part of the game, we expected that. The problem was the longer you went, then you ran into these problems with the G forces.

People are going to say that it's CART's fault. But at the end of the day for them to make that decision was bloody difficult, and they have to be applauded for doing that. Joe Heitzler, and those guys, you have to say that was brave, and 'good on you'.

I went back to Scotland straight after Long Beach for a few days with my family. My brother Marino won the British GT Championship race at Snetterton. He's sharing a car with Kelvin Burt, and they did really well. The trouble with Snetterton is that it's cold and wet. I guess I should've known better really.

I was pleased to see Montoya on the podium in Spain, That was mega, and Villeneuve too. I didn't get to see the race live (meetings about Texas etc...) but I saw qualifying, and that was disappointing for Juan as he ended up 12th - I guess in the race he was the usual Juan.

Another thing I must say is the news about the loss of Michele Alboreto. That was just devastating. He was such a great guy. In the mid-80s when I was growing up, he was the man at Ferrari. Then I was fortunate enough to race against him in the ITC in 1996. It's such a shame. He enjoyed his racing, and for that to happen to him... It brings you back to earth with a big bump I can tell you. There were a lot of people feeling the effect of that over the weekend.

But we race Nazareth next. I'm going to Indy this week to do some work for the team. We ran well at Nazareth in 1999 when we had the low downforce package, so just hope we can go there this year and score some decent points.

GK on the Texas 'Boondoggle'
Previous article

GK on the Texas 'Boondoggle'

Next article

GK on CART's last curtain call at Nazareth

GK on CART's last curtain call at Nazareth
The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad Plus

The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad

A trail blazed in Esports has inspired a revamp of the annual prize that aims to discover the best young engineering talent. Autosport met Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future winner Michael Preston

Jan 18, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

Dec 26, 2022
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

Dec 10, 2021