Video: Gil de Ferran averages 241 mph around Fontana

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, I was sitting in the Honda hospitality and heard Paul Tracy say he saw 270 mph on the speedo going into turn one in the draft that year. Real Racing. Real Men. Scotty M.

09/15/12 Gil de Ferran's Closed Course World Record qualifying run of 241.428 mph (388.537 km/h) on October 28, 2000 at California Speedway in Fontana, California in a CART IndyCar and was there. Note at the 6-second mark you can see de Ferran's rear wing is dragging a parachute behind it (Hanford Device) and he still averaged over 241 MPH. Most believe without that parachute his average speed would have been over 250 mph. Today's IndyCars qualified at 216 mph (3.4 seconds per lap slower) and they scare the living daylights out of the driver.

Note the size of the CART crowd at Fontana in 1998 before Tony George thought he had a better idea and before Roger Penske sold all his tracks to the enemy of open wheel racing (France Family). In case you were wondering, 97,000 were in attendance that day. Compare that to tonight's crowd and you'll understand how much damage was done to the sport by the actions of two men.

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