CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Ford Racing preview

CART FEDEX CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES VISITS MONTREAL FOR FIRST TIME - The CART FedEx Championship Series travels to Montreal this weekend for its first ever appearance on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. The Molson Indy Montreal, Canada's third CART event...

CART FEDEX CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES VISITS MONTREAL FOR FIRST TIME - The CART FedEx Championship Series travels to Montreal this weekend for its first ever appearance on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. The Molson Indy Montreal, Canada's third CART event this year, marks the first of two new events races scheduled this month with CART set to race in Denver on Labor Day weekend. The home of a Formula One race every year since 1978 with the exception of 1987, the Ile Notre-Dame Circuit was renamed, "Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve," in 1982 to honor the famed Canadian Formula One driver who was killed during a practice session for the Belgium Grand Prix.

FORD HISTORY AT THE ILE NOTRE-DAME CIRCUIT - Although Ford-powered Champ Cars have never raced on the Ile Notre-Dame Circuit, now known as the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Ford has had a successful racing history at the track in Formula One. Since F1 first visited Montreal in 1978, Ford has captured five pole positions and four race victories. Jean-Pierre Javier gave Ford its first pole in 1978 before Alan Jones captured both pole position and Ford's first victory in 1979. Nelson Piquet captured the pole the following year, however it was Jones who claimed his second victory in as many seasons. Piquet won pole position again in 1981 but wouldn't win his first Formula One race in Montreal until 1991. Michael Schumacher won both the pole and the race for Ford in 1994 en route to his first career World Championship.

FORD-COSWORTH DRIVER NOTES -

Patrick Carpentier - Qualified 12th and finished seventh last weekend at Road America to remain second in the championship standings with 101 points. Has scored points in each of the last five races on the strength of three top-five finishes, including wins in Cleveland and at Mid-Ohio. For the season, has scored top-10 finishes in Monterrey [seventh], Japan [fourth], Laguna Seca [fifth], Portland [fifth], Toronto [10th], Cleveland [first], Vancouver [fifth], Mid-Ohio [first] and Road America [seventh]. His 101 championship points equal his career-high established in 2000 when he finished 11th in the standings.

Mario Dominguez - Endured a difficult qualifying session at Road America and started 17th, but rebounded for an eighth-place finish - his best career Champ Car result to date. Made his first points-paying finish of the season in Japan when he came home 11th [two points]. With 15 championship points, he remains second in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year standings behind Townsend Bell [19 points].

Michel Jourdain, Jr. - Finished ninth last weekend at Road America to establish a Team Rahal record for consecutive points-paying finishes in one season [12]. Is the only driver to have finished all 12 races thus far this season and is currently tied for seventh [Alex Tagliani] in the championship standings with 80 points. Has recorded top-five finishes this season in Monterrey [fourth], Long Beach [fifth], Japan [fifth], Milwaukee [fifth] and Vancouver [fourth].

Alex Tagliani - Made his third consecutive top-three start at Road America en route to a second place finish, equaling his best result of the season established in Japan. Has now scored points in eight straight events including six consecutive top-10 finishes, and is currently tied for seventh [Michel Jourdain, Jr.] in the championship with 80 points. His 80 championship points through the first 12 races of the season equal his career-high set in 20 races last season. Has racing experience on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve where in 1999 he won from the pole in the Atlantic Championship.

Jimmy Vasser - Struggled in qualifying [started 15th] at Road America but scored a solid fifth-place finish, which was his first top-five result since finishing second at Long Beach on April 14th. Has seven top-10 results this season, eighth two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio and fifth last weekend at Road America, and currently sits 12th in the championship standings with 57 points. Has racing experience on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve where in 1991 he won while racing in the Atlantic Championship.

COSWORTH RACING CHAMP CAR WINS - Patrick Carpentier's third career Champ Car victory at Mid-Ohio on August 11th, 2002 was the 214th victory for Cosworth Racing in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since it entered North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 168 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine during the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League [IRL]. Michael Andretti has won the most races using a Cosworth engine [25], followed by Rick Mears [20], Bobby Rahal [18], Mario Andretti [16] and Johnny Rutherford [16].

SPARK PLUGS - Michel Jourdain, Jr., is the only Champ Car driver this season who has finished every race and has scored championship points in every event ... Patrick Carpentier has two wins and six top-five finishes through 11 races this season, eclipsing last year's total of one win and five top-five finishes ... Jourdain leads all drivers this season having completed 1,544 out of a possible 1,552 laps [99.5%].

-ford-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Alan Jones , Nelson Piquet , Johnny Rutherford , Michel Jourdain