|“The Green Flag” covers Barry Green’s life growing up in Australia and his early racing efforts aboard his own Formula Fords in Australia and Formula 3 cars in Europe. Green and his wife Jeanne then moved to the United States, where he became a successful Can-Am and Indy Car team manager and owner.
Over 23 years, from 1980-2002, Green’s cars won six Can-Am races and 47 Indy Car races, including two, and some say three, Indy 500s. He worked with a series of great drivers, including Teo Fabi, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Jacques Villeneuve, Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy, as well as brilliant designers such as Adrian Newey and Tony Cicale, and a long list of tremendously skilled and motivated mechanics and crewmen.
Green and Kirby tell Green’s story with the generous help of these great drivers, engineers and crewmen.
Here are a few selected words from four great drivers who drove for Green’s teams at various stages of his career:
Michael Andretti: “I always liked Barry and loved working with him. I think his biggest strength is that he’s a real people person and everyone loves him. People really liked him and wanted to work for him.”
Al Unser Jr.: “I would put Barry at number one of all the team managers I worked with in my career. Barry was really good at making sure everyone was happy and all the cars were treated equally. That’s a special talent.”
Dario Franchitti: “Team Kool Green was a great team and Barry was always easy to deal with. If he had a problem, he came straight to you to discuss it. I was unbelievably fortunate to have Barry as a team boss at that stage of my career.”
Paul Tracy: “I liked Barry a lot. He always had my back and would tell me when I made a mistake. We always had a very honest and open relationship.”
On his experience writing “The Green Flag,” Green commented, “There are many people to thank for helping me with this book and I have to start with my friend, Gordon Kirby. Over many years Gordon had stood on the sidelines doing his job as a motorsports correspondent at most of the race events that my team participated in. He was brilliant at his job. It also helped greatly that he had crossed paths with almost everyone else who helped with the book He loved the sport of motor racing as much as anyone out there.
Paul Tracey (left) Team Kool Green’s “green” man with Dario Franchitti (Right) the squad’s “blue” man. [CRASH image]
“I also have to thank his boss, and publisher, Joe Freeman and Racemaker Press, who would make all final decisions with this book and believed in Gordon enough to publish it.”