CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: PKV Racing Saturday report

PKV Racing Duo To Start 11th and 15th in Tomorrow's Molson Indy Toronto TORONTO, Ont. (July 10, 2004) -- PKV Racing's Gulfstream pilot Jimmy Vasser ( ...

PKV Racing Duo To Start 11th and 15th in Tomorrow's Molson Indy Toronto

TORONTO, Ont. (July 10, 2004) -- PKV Racing's Gulfstream pilot Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) made the best out of a late session run, jumping from 13th to 11th on the speed charts on his final lap in qualifying for tomorrow's 19th Annual Molson Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place. His rookie teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) completed the session 15th in his first trip to the streets of Toronto, as the duo now focuses on moving up the 18-car grid when the green flag drops tomorrow at 1:30 pm ET.

Vasser, who notched a best career finish of third in Toronto in the 1998 event, will be looking to charge through the field and add to his tally of six top-10 results on the 1.755-mile street course. The 1996 Series Champion and his PKV crew were onto something late in today's final qualifying session, but ran out of laps when their 750hp Lola flashed by the timing stripe on the last of their Champ Car mandated 15 maximum tours of the circuit.

"I got a bad read on the old tire pressures and it cost us some time out there today," said Vasser, who qualified 11th at 59.471 seconds (106.237 mph). "We got faster as the session went on for sure and the car was better and better-- we were fastest on our final lap I think-- but we're still a bit off of where we need to be. We'll have to go back again and look at the data to see how we can improve on it."

Vasser's Nextel-sponsored teammate Gonzalez tried to use street course experience gained from his first career start in St. Petersburg, Florida last season and a Round 1 run in Long Beach earlier this season, but could only muster 15th out of a car he remains puzzled by.

"We were expecting to get a bigger jump up the speed chart with newer tires in qualifying, but we only managed to get four tenths out of it," said Gonzalez, who finished the session with a time of 1:00.812 (103.894 mph). "It's difficult to determine what's going on because we are so off right now. I'll have to go back and discuss it with my engineers and get Jimmy's [Vasser] input to make sure the Nextel car is faster tomorrow."

Vasser and Gonzalez will take the green flag for tomorrow's 95-lap (166.725-mile) Molson Indy Toronto at 1:30 pm local time. Catch all the action from the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit at 4:00 ET/PT on Spike TV in Round 6 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser