Motor Racing: Tragedy overshadows season's finale

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The Independent Online
THE DUEL for the title between Scotland's Dario Franchitti and Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya was overshadowed by the death of the Canadian driver, Greg Moore, in the final race of the CART series season in Fontana, California, on Sunday.

Moore (right), a 24-year-old from British Columbia, died after a high- speed crash (above) on lap 10 of the 250-lap Marlboro 500 race. He was air-lifted to hospital but pronounced dead due to head and internal injuries.

After the race, a prayer reading was held instead of a victory ceremony and the mood among the drivers was sombre. Many of the drivers were not aware of Moore's death until after the race.

Franchitti came in 10th while Montoya's fourth place at the California Speedway was enough to seal the title for the Colombian. Both drivers finished with 212 points, but Montoya claimed the crown because he had seven race victories to Franchitti's three.

With flags already flying at half-mast in honour of Moore, Adrian Fernandez of Mexico gambled on running low on fuel and took the chequered flag 7.634 seconds ahead of Italy's Max Papis.