CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Lola Cars race report

Paul Tracy has two more races to go in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford before he can claim the title he's driving to claim. The Canadian took another giant step to that championship by winning today's Gran...

Paul Tracy has two more races to go in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford before he can claim the title he's driving to claim. The Canadian took another giant step to that championship by winning today's Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante presented by Banamex-Visa from pole position, leading the most laps 64 of a total 70 run around the 2.786-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course to pull 29 ahead of his closest pursuer, Bruno Junqueira (226-197) who finished seventh after feeling ill much of the morning. It was his 26th victory, 7th this year and second Mexican win after taking the checkered flags in March at Monterrey.

"I had a perfect day and was able to pace myself," said the driver of the #3 Team Player's Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car. "It's a fantastic weekend. We brought our best stuff here and to get a bigger lead is what we wanted. After Miami, we really thought about what we were going to do here."

Sebastien Bourdais finished second in the #2 Lilly Lola, 1.782 seconds behind Tracy and clinched Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year honors. Trying to catch Tracy after the final of four cautions, Bourdais "killed the performance of the tires as they went from cold to hot back to cold in just a short period of time. I'm glad to get the Rookie title; it was a goal."

The 175,000 Mexican fans on hand were overjoyed to see Mario Dominguez take third in the #55 Herdez Lola after starting 11th. "To finish third in Mexico is unreal. This podium means more to me than anything else it's the biggest moment of my life." Countryman Michel Jourdain Jr. earned fourth in the #9 Gigante Lola with "a really good car today. The team made a great call on strategy and my pit crew was awesome today. Every time we pitted we gained at least one spot." Jourdain remains alive in the title hunt with 183 third-place points.

Lola drivers took eight of the top ten spots on this sunny day, when air temps ranged from ranged from 80-83 and track temps soared as high as 131 degrees. Mika Salo finished fifth in the #27 PK Racing Lola, his second top-five in a row, Junqueira took seventh in the #1 PacifiCare Lola, Adrian Fernandez led six laps and was eight at the checkered flags in the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola and Roberto Gonzalez finished tenth in his first drive of the #4 Herdez Lola.

The series takes a weekend off and then flies to Surfers Paradise, Australia for the Lexmark Indy 300 and then returns to California for the grand finale Champ Car 500.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Mika Salo , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais , Roberto Gonzalez , Michel Jourdain