CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Forsythe Racing race report

Tracy Takes Impressive Victory in Cleveland Cleveland, Ohio -- Paul Tracy took an incredible race win today at the Cleveland Grand Prix Presented by LaSalle Bank fighting his way from last place to first in one of the most trouble-filled...

Tracy Takes Impressive Victory in Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio -- Paul Tracy took an incredible race win today at the Cleveland Grand Prix Presented by LaSalle Bank fighting his way from last place to first in one of the most trouble-filled races that Forsythe Championship Racing has had in years. Oriol Servia endured a difficult race but held on to finish seventh after encountering a wide array of problems.

Tracy, who started seventh, lost his first front wing when he collided with Graham Rahal who spun and slowed coming out of turn four leaving the 2003 Champion nowhere to go. The Forsythe Team quickly replaced the front wing and sent Tracy back on his way in last place. During the restart Tracy lost his second front wing due to an impact with Bruno Junqueira coming into turn one. Once again his #3 Forsythe Crew quickly replaced the wing and topped the car with fuel. For the rest of the race Tracy managed to turn extremely quick laps and slowly started picking off his competitors and climbing through the field. The combination of quick laps, on track passes, and a brilliant alternative pit strategy helped the Canadian gain positions and by lap 70 he found himself in the lead. The two additional pit stops forced Tracy to use an old set of Bridgestone Potenzas for his last stint, but even with old rubber he managed to hold off the hard charging cars of Rahal and Robert Doornbos and take the victory. Tracy's win marks Forsythe Championship Racing's third win in a row at Cleveland (Tracy '05, Allmendinger '06, Tracy '07).

For Servia things turned out to be quite a bit more difficult. The problems started during his first pit stop when a problem with the air jack on his #7 INDECK Champ Car forced him to drop positions, the problem continued to plague him throughout the race slowing down each of his three pit stops. Throughout the race the Spaniard struggled with the handling of his car, the situation became even worse when his left sidepod flew off the car on the front straightaway leaving the DP01 with a reduced amount of downforce for the rest of the race. Servia soldiered on to finish a strong seventh place.

Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/Bridgestone/DP01

Winner
10th in Championship with 68 Points

"I had to fight for that one. I'm still kind of in shock with how the race went. I got off to a really bad start, got into the mix with Robert and Graham fighting. They both kind of ran wide in turn three. Graham was kind of way out in the dusty part of the track. When he turned to change directions, go the other way, he had to come to a stop in the middle of a corner without kind of half spinning out. I was coming pretty hard. I knew he was going to have to slow down at the apex, but I thought I could kind of cross under him. He basically parked the car right in front of me to avoid spinning out. I ended up running into him. We both went out in the grass. That was wing number one. Kind of the same thing with Bruno and Oriol. Oriol made a move on Bruno. Bruno tried to cross under Oriol at the apex of turn one. I had to come to a complete stop in the center of the corner to cross underneath of Oriol. I thought, Okay, I can kind of swing through the corner here and get a good run on the straightaway. I ran right into the back of him. That was wing number two. We came in and were at the back of the field. We had lots of fuel when other guys didn't have fuel. My spirits were down for six or seven laps. I kind of stayed at the back and didn't do anything. I just sat at the back of the field. The team really rallied and said, All right, come on, let's go. We can do something here with our strategy. I passed the five cars that were in front of me. I pulled away and caught up to Graham and Justin towards the end of that stint, really started to turn some good laps. The rest was really just strategy. We had the fuel at the end of the race that other people didn't, the problem was that we didn't have the tires."

Oriol Servia #7 Indeck Cosworth/Bridgestone/DP01

Finished Seventh
Sixth in Championship with 68 Points

"I'm very happy for the Team and for Paul. We've all worked very hard for the last few races. This weekend it just seemed like nothing went our way you know, we had mechanical problems during provisional qualifying, then in final qualifying we got caught out by the red flag. Today we had a problem with the air jack and an air gun so every pit stop took about 20 seconds longer than it should've, and then for some reason the sidepod flew off, so it was just a very long day. But it's a good day for the Team, obviously I would've liked to do better but things just didn't go our way today. I was fighting the whole race with (Robert) Doornbos and (Neel) Jani and they ended up finishing second and third so we were close but it just wasn't our day."

The next round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series will take place in beautiful Circuit Mont Tremtlant in St. Jovite, Quebec July 1st.

-credit: forsythe-racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Robert Doornbos