Team Player's drivers Carpentier and Tracy make the most of a tough situation by picking up points at German 500 Lausitz, Germany, May 11, 2003 Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy of Team Player's both earned points at Sunday's German 500, ...
Team Player's drivers Carpentier and Tracy make the most of a tough situation by picking up points at German 500
Lausitz, Germany, May 11, 2003 Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy of Team Player's both earned points at Sunday's German 500, progressing from poor starting positions to finish seventh and 12th respectively in the Champ Car World Series' fifth race of the season. French rookie Sebastien Bourdais, the pole sitter, earned his second straight victory, edging out Mexicans Mario Dominguez and Michel Jourdain Jr. in a thrilling finish on the 2.023-mile EuroSpeedway.
"Team Player's kept me in the race with excellent pit stops," said Carpentier, who started 16th on the grid. "We really didn't have the car to be able to finish at the front on this track, so we were just trying to make the most of a difficult situation. Seventh place is acceptable under the circumstances."
"At the start of the race, Paul and I worked together as a team and the drafting went really well. That's why we were able to move up quite quickly and make some gains. I think we passed five or six guys in one shot. The car ran better with a full load of fuel, and that's why it worked well at the start."
The Champ Car teams were required to use basically the same aerodynamics package for last week's race on the Brands Hatch road course and the superspeedway in Lausitz. Team Player's opted to go with a package that had tested well in Homestead last month, but cooler weather conditions in Germany contributed to creating difficulties with downforce and drag throughout race weekend.
"Team Player's underestimated how the car was going to react on the German superspeedway," said Tracy, who had qualified 15th. "And I certainly didn't expect the car would be this slow. We just weren't competitive, and it's hard to compete if your car isn't on the same level as the others.
"It's been a disappointing two weeks in Europe," he added. "We came in with a 26-point lead in the drivers' standings, and we leave here tied for first. We're going to get back to business and work hard to get back on track in Milwaukee." While Tracy and Bruno Junqueira are technically tied for the lead in the standings, Tracy, who collected one point for his 12th-place finish, is the leader by virtue of having three race wins.
Carpentier, who has finished in the top 8 in all five races thus far, holds down sixth place with 34 points, while fellow Canadian Alex Tagliani, forced out early by a mechanical failure in Sunday's race, is 11th with 22 points.
Following a two-week break in the schedule, the series resumes with the first night race in its history on the historic Milwaukee Mile oval on Saturday, May 31.