DENVER (August 13, 2004) -- After starting the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver 13th and 11th the past two seasons, respectively, 1996 Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser's ( ...
DENVER (August 13, 2004) -- After starting the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver 13th and 11th the past two seasons, respectively, 1996 Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser's (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) sixth place effort in today's Round One qualifying proved to be breath of fresh air for the PKV Racing squad that has been working tirelessly on their Friday and Saturday program to get the 10-time racewinner near the top of the timing sheets.
Vasser's 13th lap timed of 1:01.334 (97.258 mph) around the demanding 1.657-mile temporary course surrounding the Pepsi Center proved to be his fastest, and his best effort on a downtown street circuit this season.
"I'm sure sixth doesn't feel good to everybody on the team, but I'm happy with it considering our previous qualifying efforts on the street circuits," said Vasser, whose 192nd consecutive start in this Sunday's race will tie him with Al Unser Jr. for the all-time Champ Car record. "The PKV guys are continually building momentum, and that's what we're looking for in the Gulfstream car week in and week out. The race organizers and Centrix have done a wonderful job with this track. The changes they made from last year have really made this into a quality street course."
Although Vasser's PKV Racing teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola Bridgestone) spends much of his off-season in nearby Vail, Colo., the Mexican rookie found it difficult to adjust to the Denver layout, as his top time of 1:02.604 (95.285 mph) left him 17th in the session.
"The Nextel car struggled on newer tires for some reason, so we'll try to look at the data and come up with some answers for tomorrow," said Gonzalez. "We also suffered some braking problems and had to come in and bleed them. After that was resolved, I got caught up in traffic on my two fastest laps. It's all very frustrating."
Watch Vasser and Gonzalez this Sunday, August 15th on Spike TV (4:00 pm ET/PT) or HDNet (2:30 pm ET, Live) as they compete on the recently expanded 1.657-mile temporary street circuit in festive downtown Denver, Colo. in Round 9 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford.
About PKV Racing
Founded in January 2003, Indianapolis-based PKV Racing fields a two-car effort in the Champ Car World Series for American open wheel star Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Mexican rookie Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone). The second-year team is owned by successful venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit, along with 1996 Series Champion Vasser, and is managed by veteran Champ Car team manager Russell Cameron.
For more information please visit www.pkvracing.com, www.nextel.com.mx or www.gulfstream.com.