WHO'S HOT * Canadian favorite Patrick Carpentier ( ...
* Canadian favorite Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing fended off two serious threats that came in the form of teammate Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Newman/Haas Racing's Bruno Junqueira (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to win the Grand Prix of Monterey last weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Career win number four came for Carpentier from pole, having led all 87 laps around the 11-turn permanent road course. Carpentier is the only driver to finish in the points in every race this season and leads the series in laps completed with 932 of a possible 936. The win vaults him into fourth in points with 70 behind Tracy's 81, Junqueira's 83 and Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) who leads the pack with 89 heading into Portland International Raceway.
* Junqueira impressed once again this season, this time at Laguna Seca, scoring a top five finish for the sixth time in seven races. The Brazilian continues his charge for his first CART championship this weekend on PIR's 1.969-mile permanent road course, where he finished second to 2002 titlewinner turned F1 pilot Cristiano da Matta a year ago.
* Championship contender Tracy got back on track after derailing in the series' two European stops a month ago, scoring a solid third place podium finish in Monterey. The Canadian looks to charge back to the top spot in points, a place he is very familiar with this season after winning the year's first three races.
* Brazilian rookie Mario Haberfeld (#34 Mi-Jack Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) turned in a strong top five result in California, leading all rookies and the Reynard contingent. Haberfeld stands ninth in overall points with 36, second to Rookie of the Year leader Sebastien Bourdais (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing who has 53 markers.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Max Papis (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is the only active CART Champ Car driver to have won at Portland, driving to victory in the 2001 G.I. Joe's 200 from pole.
DID YOU KNOW?
* Portland International Raceway has hosted two of CART Champ Car's closest races ever run in the series' 25-year history. Mark Blundell nipped Gil de Ferran at the stripe by 0.027 seconds in 1997, making it the closest margin of victory in CART Champ Car history. The sixth-closest race in series' history also came at PIR in 1986 when Mario Andretti beat son Michael to the flagstand by 0.070 seconds on Father's Day.
* Northwest Ford Stores to Present Inaugural Ford Racing Fan Appreciation Night at The Rose Garden Arena...The Rose City has long been known as a hotbed of Champ Car racing, hosting the 750hp race cars on Portland International Raceway's winding 1.969-mile ribbon of pavement since 1984. On Wednesday, June 18th Northwest Ford dealers are acknowledging the Portland fan support that has made the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford so popular over the years with its inaugural Ford Racing Fan Appreciation Night sponsored by The WB, KWJJ and KOTK. The famous Rose Garden Arena in downtown Portland will play host to the event from 6:00 -- 9:00 p.m., with Champ Car drivers on hand for autograph sessions, including proven drivers such as Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez, Roberto Moreno, Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani, along with veterans Bruno Junqueira, Gualter Salles and Mario Dominguez and rookies Sebastien Bourdais, Joel Camathias and Mario Haberfeld. Fans will get a chance to interact with Champ Car pilots in a question and answer session, in addition to being available for autographs from 6:30 -- 7:30 p.m. and again from 7:45 -- 8:45 p.m. Ford's inaugural Fan Appreciation Night will also serve as the last time to catch the stars before they strap in the cockpit for the 20th annual G.I. Joe's 200 at PIR, June 22nd. Ford production vehicles, official Ford pace vehicles and Champ Car show cars will all be on display in the Rose Garden Arena as part of the show. Attendees can enter to win pace car rides in CART FastLaps-- the unique program that enables fans to experience first hand the thrill of taking a high speed ride around a Champ Car World Series race circuit-- in addition to tickets to the G.I. Joe's 200 and various other Ford Racing prizes. One lucky person will win a VIP Honorary Pit Crew Weekend Package courtesy of Ford Racing. This person and a guest will serve as honorary crew members during the June 21st Champ Car qualifying session at PIR and will receive tickets to Ford's pre-race hospitality on race day. The two will receive lunch, participate in a raffle for prizes, go on a guided paddock tour and have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with a Champ Car driver before heading to the race. Free admission tickets to the Ford Racing Fan Appreciation Night are available by stopping in at your local Northwest Ford dealer. For more information call T.J. Ansley at Campbell & Co at (313) 203-7144 or call the Rose Garden at (503) 234-9291.
* Downtown Pit Stop Demonstration...CART Champ Car rookie sensation Mario Haberfeld and his Mi-Jack Conquest Racing crew will light up Downtown Portland on Wednesday, June 18th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a unique Pit Stop demonstration. The fan-friendly event will take place on SW Broadway between SW Yamhill & SW Salmon and is open to the public. Contact Ronda Courtney at Global Events Group at (503) 821-4342 for more details.
* G.I. Joe's Store Autograph Session...Tualatin G.I. Joe's located at 17799 SW Boones Ferry Road in Tualatin, OR will host an autograph session Thursday, June 19th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with Champ Car Drivers Jimmy Vasser, Ryan Hunter-Reay; Alex Tagliani, Oriol Servia and Gualter Salles. The event is open to the public. Contact Ronda Courtney at Global Events Group at (503) 821-4342 for more details.
* Celebrate the Ultimate Birthday Party with Adrian Fernandez... Fernando's Hideaway at 824 SW 1st Street in Downtown Portland is set to host a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the G.I. Joe's 200. The event, which includes food, beverages, music, salsa lessons and a live Mariachi band takes place Friday, June 20th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The wildly popular Champ Car driver Adrian Fernandez will be on hand for autographs The event is open to the public. Contact Ronda Courtney at Global Events Group at (503) 821-4342 for more details.
* Party in the Pearl...Piazza Italia at 1129 NW Johnson in Downtown Portland will host an Italian-style street party Saturday, June 21st from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. that will feature food and beverage, live music and a spectacular display of cars by Ferrari, Mazaratti, Vespa, Alfa Romero, and Ducate Car Clubs. Champ Car Driver Alex Tagliani of Rocketsports Racing will stop by the event which is open to the public. Contact Ronda Courtney at Global Events Group at (503) 821-4342 for more details.
G.I. JOE'S 200
Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon
Friday - Sunday, June 20-22.
CART SCHEDULE (All times local):
FRIDAY, JUNE 20
Champ Car practice, 9:30 -- 10:20 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, JUNE 21
Champ Car practice, 10:00 -- 11:15 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 -- 2:45 p.m.
Champ Car warm-up, 8:30 -- 9:00 a.m.
The G.I. Joe's 200, 100 laps, 12:30 p.m.
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
SATURDAY, JUNE 21 -- SPEED Channel, CART Champ Car qualifying, 5:30 p.m. ET.
SUNDAY, JUNE 22 -- CBS Sports,
G. I. Joe's 200, 3:30 p.m. ET (Live).