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Drivers react to “mad” mannequin moment at Barber IndyCar race

IndyCar Series drivers were shocked on Sunday when a mannequin fell from a bridge and landed right next to the racetrack at Barber Motorsports Park.

Georgina and Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

A race full of action featured a bizarre moment that caught everyone off-guard after a mannequin called 'Georgina' – installed by eccentric track owner George Barber in 2016 – fell from the pedestrian bridge on to the grass at the side of the track near Turn 8 on lap 52 of 90.

A.J. Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci, running fourth at the time, could be heard over the radio shouting: “That lady hanging from the bridge fell!”

To which team president Larry Foyt tried to keep enough composure through the laughter to reply: “10-4. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

Cars furiously whipped by, with Luca Ghiotto, making his IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne Racing, being the first to clip the hand of the doll – which was constructed of fibre glass and plastic.

 

IndyCar officials held off from waving a yellow for the incident, and the stray mannequin was collected by safety crews after the next caution came out three laps later, when Sting Ray Robb – Ferrucci’s team-mate – crashed his car into the Turn 1 barrier due to steering failure.

During the post-race press conference, Team Penske’s Will Power, who finished runner-up in the race, was asked about the incident by Motorsport.com.

“I saw the yellow comes out and there's a lady lying on the side,” Power said. “I’m like, ‘You're kidding me, who let her down?’ There's a yellow for that lady.’

“That would have been funny if it came in someone's cockpit, ‘There's a lady attacking me!’”

Fortunately, Power did recognize 'Georgina' and had enough awareness to not mistake it for a real person.

“I knew exactly what it was,” he said. “It was a lady hanging there. They're going to have to seriously get some good cables.”

Then Power asked if anyone ran over it, to which it was confirmed to him that Ghiotto smashed the doll’s right hand.

“Should go in a glass case, preserve the body,” Power said. “Mummify it!”

Georgina and Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Georgina and Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Joey Barnes

Scott McLaughlin, Power’s team-mate who led 58 laps to take victory for the second consecutive year at the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course, was originally frustrated in thinking the caution came out for the mannequin tumultuous visit back to earth.

“I was a little mad,” McLaughlin said. “Then I realized that someone else had hit the fence. That wasn't what the yellow was for.

“I love the artistic stuff [at the venue], but it probably doesn't need to be above the track to cause a yellow like that. It's probably what will change next year maybe. I don't know.

“I do love that part of this. It's unique. It's just a fun track. Yeah, if I lost to that, to a lady that fell off... I won't say anymore. It was a mannequin. It wasn't a real person.”

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