Forsythe Three Car Assault Season Opening Race Win and all three in the top ten! Defending World Champion, ...
Forsythe Three Car Assault Season Opening Race Win and all three in the top ten!
Defending World Champion, #1 Paul Tracy took a resounding victory in the OWRS ChampCar season-opener at Long Beach (his fourth at the track). An enthusiastic crowd of 75,000 ChampCar fans enjoyed blue skies and the California sunshine as PT convincingly demonstrated his skill and determination in a commanding performance from beginning to end, supported by Chief Engineer Todd Malloy and his #1 professional Crew who turned two green-flag pit stops around without a hitch.
Team Owner Jerry Forsythe was especially pleased with his weekend, "A great weekend for the Team, with Paul's victory, Patrick's 4th place and Rodolfo's very solid first race with us -- the Season ahead looks good for all three drivers. And a great weekend for ChampCar and the Long Beach Grand Prix - the Season is now properly underway, and we showed the world that with OWRS ChampCar is here to stay. We have a very competitive field, and ChampCar provided the excitement that our many fans around the world have come to expect from the Series. The new television partners are doing a good job, and led by Jim Michaelian the Long Beach Grand Prix delivered a great event and another great crowd. And I'm delighted to have Corona as a part of the Team - We are honored be partnering with such a first class Mexican company and its premium internationally recognized brand, and we look forward to racing in Monterrey Mexico on May 23rd."
VP Operations Neil Micklewright and Team Manager Phil Le Pan were happy to get to the first race. "Its been a hectic few weeks gearing up for a three car assault on the Championship -- a lot of work preparing the race cars in terms of engineering and presentation for new sponsors, as well as putting three crews together to work with Paul, Patrick and Rodolfo. We got through the weekend without any major dramas, with all three in the top ten and a win for Paul and the Team is a great start to the Season."
PT had used the new push-to-pass to great effect into the first corner and man-handled his race car down the inside of Bruno Junqueira to take first place, leading 78 of 81 laps before heading for Victory Circle, and telling the media "When the green flag waved, I used the Push to Pass Button at the start/finish line to pick up more speed. I then took advantage of Bruno's draft and charged to the inside. I waited for Bruno to break so that I could make my move to get around him, however, he ended up breaking earlier than I anticipated and my car started to slide. I managed to take over the lead and just pushed as hard as I could to pull away from the field. We had excellent pit stops and the car was just running great throughout the whole day. This is a great accomplishment coming out of the first race with a victory. I want to thank my team and all the fans for their support. This has been a terrific weekend and I look forward to a great 2004 season."
Patrick Carpentier #7 chased hard and closely all day, led two laps and held off Mario Dominquez in a good battle to take his best ever 4th spot finish on the shoreline. In the pits, Chief Engineer Eric Zeto and the #7 Crew provided the back-up Patrick appreciated, "I am pretty happy. I think it the first time I finished a race here at Long Beach. I pushed really hard the whole race. That is when I realized that my winter training really paid off. I hit the wall a little bit everywhere on the car during the last stint, but it held together. I liked the soft tires. When the crew put the soft tires on I was really fast and the car handled perfectly. The crew did great pit stops and we couldn't ask for better for the first race."
And Forsythe team rookie Rodolfo Lavin #3 in the new Corona Forsythe Racing entry secured a very respectable 10th place in his first race, supported by Chief Engineer Mike Pawlowski and the #3 Crew. Rodolfo was pleased by his first race with the Team, saying, "That was a good race. For being the first race it was a good result. I would have liked to run more in front, but for being the first race it is fine. I am just excited to be working with this team and to have a sponsor like Corona. I know we will improve from this start."