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The last oddball at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Part 8: Results

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Who?

Teo Fabi

What?

March-Porsche 90P

Where?

Indianapolis

When?

1990 Indianapolis 500

Why?

These are the official results of the March 90P at the 1990 Indianapolis 500-miles race and in the 1990 CART PPG Indycar Series.

I: Indianapolis 1990

The official entry list as appearing in the 1990 Indianapolis 500-miles race Official Program and the Carl Hungness 1990 Yearbook lists five entries for the Foster's Quaker State Porsche team. The cars numbered 4, 4T, 41 and 41T are listed as 1990 March-Porsches, car number 58 is a 1989 March Porsche.

During the month of May I have seen cars carrying the following numbers:

Pictures of all of these cars appear in the 1990 Hungness yearbook: 'The field' and 'Missed the show'. All four listed cars appeared on track for practice. The #4 and #41 were qualified and raced.

Finally, I have seen a picture of an 89P with its nose panel (carrying the number) taken off but carrying a T on the main part of the tub. Given the lack of a number on the nose and the small width of the removed nose panel itself, as well as a very difficult to read 4T on the side of the car, it seems as if there was a 89P numbered 4T on the Speedway grounds as well. Close inspection of the number on the roll-hoop leads to the conclusion that this car was likely registered as #74.

The 1990 Day-By-Day Trackside Report For the Media as available on Race Day Morning did not list any change in entry numbers for the Porsche team.

The same Trackside Report contains a data sheet called 'Performance History (by month's speed), valid at 5/22'. This lists all driver and car combinations that were out on the track during practice and qualifying during the Month of May. Using this sheet as reference, the achievements for the various March-Porsches are as follows:

Rank Car # Driver Chassis Total laps Top speed Date of top speed
12 4 Fabi 90P 138 221.784 11/5
14 41 Andretti 90P 144 221.473 13/5
44 58 Andretti 90P 7 215.131* 19/5
45 58 Fabi 90P 24 215.146* 18/5
46 41T Fabi 89P 10 214.889 13/5
49 41T Andretti 89P 83 214.531 7/5

* The list is compiled using the original stat in the Trackside Report. This includes the obvious error that Fabi had been faster in the 58 than Andretti appears to have been: nevertheless, Andretti in the 58 is listed as the 44th fastest combination of the month. Regrettably, the bound Trackside Report as available doesn't include the daily speed overviews which were available during practice days in the media center.

A total of 90 different car-and-driver combinations appeared at the Speedway that year. The list did not mention that a 89P numbered 4T had been out as well.

As for an indication of Fabi and Andretti's competitiveness during the 500 mile race itself, here's a listing of their positions in the official 10-lap standings. Between brackets is the number of laps completed by the Porsche drivers, with the leader on the listed lap.

Lap Position
Leader Fabi Andretti
10 17 10
20 14 (19) 12 (19)
30 18 (29) 11 (29)
40 15 (39) 11 (39)
50 15 (48) 11 (49)
60 15 (58) 10 (59)
70 15 (68) 9 (69)
80 14 (78) 8 (79)
90 13 (88) 8 (88)
100 11 (97) 7 (97)
110 11 (106) 8 (107)
120 11 (116) 8 (117)
130 7 (127) 9 (126)
140 10 (135) 9 (135)
150 8 (145) 19 (136)
160 8 (155) 20 (136)
170 12 (161) 20 (136)
180 18 (162) 21 (136)
190 18 (162) 21 (136)
200 18 (162) 21 (136)

The fastest laps driven by the two drivers were listed as:

II: The 1990 CART PPG Indycar World Series

The following is an overview of the results achieved with the March-Porsche 90P during the 1990 CART season, including the 500-miles race at Indianapolis. The second race of the season, Long Beach, is not listed since no 90P was entered there.

The following abbreviations were used in the table below:

date: Date of event held, written in European style (day/month)
C#: Chassis number
S: Starting position on the grid
R: Ranking according to qualifying speed (due to qualifying system at Indianapolis)
speed: Qualifying speed
F: Finish result
laps: Number of laps driven in the race
status: Reason of retirement, running at the finish or average race speed when full distance was covered
pts: Point tally in the 1990 CART PPG Championship

date track driver C# S R1 speed F laps status pts
8/4 Phoenix Fabi/Andretti 1? Practice only
27/5 Indianapolis Fabi 2 23 10 220.022 18 162 Transmission
Andretti 1 10 11 219.484 21 136 Spin
3/6 Milwaukee Fabi 8 151.184 12 188 Running 1
Andretti 11 148.650 7 195 Running 6
17/6 Detroit Fabi 9 86.121 24 16 Electrical
Andretti 13 84.734 22 22 Gearbox
24/6 Portland Fabi 9 119.606 7 102 Running 6
Andretti 15 116.971 21 65 Clutch
8/7 Cleveland Fabi 9 136.726 13 77 Electrical
Andretti 12 135.761 5 85 110.700 10
15/7 Meadowlands Fabi 6 113.341 3 149 Running 14
Andretti 12 111.336 7 141 Contact T8 6
22/7 Toronto Fabi 5 105.861 15 89 Running
Andretti 10 103.783 13 91 Running
5/8 Michigan Fabi 7 220.615 24 58 Handling
Andretti 8 220.379 7 234 Running 6
26/8 Denver Fabi 1 78.964 27 7 Contact 12
Andretti 8 77.277 6 79 Running 8
2/9 Vancouver Fabi 11 95.777 16 91 Running
Andretti 13 95.269 5 97 76.755 10
16/9 Mid-Ohio Fabi 7 113.734 19 73 Electrical
Andretti 10 111.797 13 86 Running
23/9 Road America Fabi 8 126.826 25 2 Suspension
Andretti 10 126.398 22 12 Engine
7/10 Nazareth Fabi 22 163.994 11 191 Running 2
Andretti 10 165.601 19 56 Fuel pressure
21/10 Laguna Seca Fabi 8 107.855 7 83 Running 6
Andretti 9 107.192 8 83 Running 5

R1: At Indianapolis rules specified that qualifying happens on four days, the grid being lined up in the sequence of first-day qualifiers, second-day qualifiers and so on. In 1990, due to weather interference, Pole Day (Saturday 12/5) was rained out and all cars that had been nominated to make an official qualifying attempt were given their one chance for the pole as soon as circumstances permitted. This meant that eventually 15 cars qualified on Sunday 13/5 and another seven cars on Saturday 19/5. From then on, all following cars that qualified on Saturday 19/5 were designated as third-day qualifiers. Teo Fabi lost his opportunity to qualify on Sunday 13/5 due to a blown engine and as a result he could only become fastest third-day qualifier and line up behind all the cars that had qualified according the sequence determined for Pole Day. Nevertheless, his qualified speed made him 10th fastest overall. The R column gives the ranking the drivers should have had if the grid had been lined up according qualifying speeds, regardless of the moment the drivers qualified.

2 The CART PPG championship awards a championship point for pole position. Teo's point score at Denver is a result of winning the pole despite finishing outside the top 12.

Extract taken from 1990 CART/PPG Indycar World Series, final standings:

1 Al Unser Jr Galles-Kraco/Valvoline Lola-Chevrolet T90/00 210 points
...
10 John Andretti Foster's/Quaker State March-Porsche 90P 80 points
...
14 Teo Fabi Foster's/Quaker State March-Porsche 89P & 90P 33 points3

3 Fabi scored 30 points with the 90P. In the second race of the season at Long Beach, while racing a 89P, he finished 10th, scoring three more points.