Thursday, September 28, 2006

Deathly (Aimee Mann) (This freaked me out)

Whew, it was an exhausting weekend as all racing weekends are. It was also an emotional roller coaster with Katherine's accident on Sunday with three laps left in the race. If you don't know what I'm talking about you apparently watch less TV than I do, and that's impressive! On lap 48 of 51, Katherine Legge's Warriors in Pink (Breast Cancer) car lost the main piece to its rear wing which mean she lost all of her downforce just as she was about to enter the fastest corner on the track (the Kink at Road America). She took the turn/curve at full speed (about 170 mph) and obviously lost control as she had no downforce to keep the car on the track. Her car immediately went airborne and did exactly what it's been designed to do – protect the driver from injury while coming apart in a very scary fashion. One problem with Road America is that it is so freaking huge (4+ miles around) that there is no Diamondvision and you only know what's happening by the PA system which doesn't work fabulously well when cars are roaring past you at 750 hp. We heard "…lost a wing…" "…Will Power…", so for a good five minutes I thought Will Power (Australian rookie, leader of the Rookie of the Year right now) was in the kitty litter somewhere. Then I heard, "…car pieces flying everywhere, the way it's supposed to…" and "…Katherine Legge…" That might have been from someone in front of us who had a scanner.

They announced they were Red Flagging (stopping) the race due to the debris. I was at Toronto when they had to red flag the race near the end because of Jeff Krosnoff's accident and I quietly freaked out. At this point, I started to say a Hail Mary, but remembered I had put my brand new rosary card in my purse. I dug it out and proceeded to say a rosary to keep Katherine safe. They were saying NOTHING from the PA and I learned in Toronto that that is generally not a good sign. They like to err on the side of caution when they don't know what's going on, understandably but it was freaking me out. When I got done with the rosary, I looked at my racing friends and I could tell that Chan had been crying and that Cam looked very concerned. Everybody was sitting quietly (except for the drunken asshole at the top of the hill who kept yelling something completely unintelligible) and ostensibly praying. HRH was trying to call somebody to find out what they were saying on TV and came to me to get my friend Jim's phone #. He told us, "She smiled in the ambulance and gave the thumbs up." We shared the information and the relief in the air was palpable. I then got a text message from Ursamajor saying "I'm sure you heard, but Katherine is awake and alert. Gave the thumbs up in the ambulance." And then another one: "Just showed her walking around." I almost started crying then from the release of the tension.

It was obvious everybody in the area was trying to call someone on their cell phones because I had very intermittent service and at one point I had to give up trying to call Jim and just texted him back saying "Thanks for the news, service for shit right now." Or something like that. After the 40 minute red flag, they continued the race and AJ hung on for the win which was great because I really wasn't ready for the championship to be decided with two races left to go in the series.

After the race, we went to the paddock to see what was up (instead of heading straight home). HRH wanted to see the car. She said, "If anything had happened to her, I wouldn't want to see it, but since she walked away with a bruise on her knee, I want to see it." The crew had the tent flaps down and zipped, but they had to transfer it into the hauler eventually, so we waited a few minutes and they brought it out. I got a picture of it, although it was covered up. And it was obviously only the tub (where the driver sits).

I talked to Melissa, a quasi-friend I see at races, who works in the Champ Car Merchandise Trailer and she said the paddock was SILENT until the news came that she was okay. And she had run down to the PKV area after it happened and she said all of Katherine's crew members were crying. And when we were walking back to the car, I said to HRH, "Emotion is so exhausting." I was just wrung out from the lows and the highs of the day. I felt like I couldn't breathe during the time we didn’t know if Katherine was okay. Even now just thinking about it, my chest is tight and a tad painful.

HRH called me last night to tell me that Katherine has been on every morning news show there is and then some. If it had been Oriol in that accident, would he be getting the publicity and coverage that Katherine is getting? I say, No, but I'm not complaining because anytime Champ Car gets good publicity is a good thing in my book. Unfortunately, we don't have another race until Oct. 22, so this probably won't translate into more people watching, but if one or two click in, that would be nice. I know I'm trying desperately to convert my loyal readers. ;-) Although I'm just thankful if you read my racing posts!

I'm sure there's more to tell you, but that was the thing that stuck out most in my mind.

7 Comments:

At Thursday, 28 September, 2006, Blogger Sal said...

Glad she's okay. I think it's neat that you carry a rosary card! After all these years I still always screw up the Hail, Holy Queen.

 
At Friday, 29 September, 2006, Anonymous moonfaeryy said...

I'm glad she's going to be okay.

 
At Friday, 29 September, 2006, Blogger Scott said...

I don't think there's much chance of converting this reader, but it's cute that you are so into the sport.

 
At Friday, 29 September, 2006, Blogger trinamick said...

It's good she came out of it ok. Those types of wrecks are scary stuff.

 
At Sunday, 01 October, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

That's so scary! I'm glad she was all right!

 
At Monday, 02 October, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Sal - They're very handy! If I have an extra, I'll mail it to you.

Moonfaeryy - You and me both.

Scott - That's fair since your chances of getting me to watch football are nil! ;-)

Trina - Very scary and I get pissed when people tell me I watch racing for the accidents.

Heather - I still get chills thinking about her car doing somersaults.

 
At Monday, 02 October, 2006, Blogger Beth said...

Ditto on the sentiment -- I'm glad she's all right as well.

 

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