CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Notes of Interest

WHO'S HOT * Patrick Carpentier ( ...

WHO'S HOT

* Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of Player's/ Forsythe Racing is coming off a win in the CART FedEx Championship Series Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank - his first victory on a road course and the second of his Champ Car career (Michigan, 2001). Carpentier looks to bring momentum gained from the win, which moved him into a tie for fourth in points (62) with Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Rahal, to the second of three races contested on his native soil at the Molson Indy Vancouver.

* Although Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing came up short last weekend at Toronto in a bid to become the first driver in CART history to record five straight wins, don't overlook the fact that he has won seven of the last 11 CART FedEx Championship Series events to date. Da Matta still leads in the championship point standings (120-70) over Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Bruno Junqueira (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) and even managed to extend that margin after gaining two points for pacing provisional and final qualifying at Cleveland. Da Matta has also led the most laps this season (432).

* After posting career-best finishes in Round 7 at Chicago (fifth) and Round 8 at Toronto (fourth), Shinji Nakano (#52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) of Fernandez Racing recorded his third straight top-10 result with a 10th place finish in Round 9 at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Nakano stands 16th with 31 points in the championship standings.

* Paul Tracy (#26 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team KOOL Green set the record for fastest race lap (58.473 seconds, 129.660 mph) in Round 9 at the Grand Prix of Cleveland en route to a third-place finish, his second podium of the season (winner of Round 4, Milwaukee). Tracy is 11th in points with 50.

* With a ninth-place run at Cleveland, Michel Jourdain Jr. has finished inside the top 10 in eight of nine rounds this season, making him the only driver in the series to have scored points in every race. Jourdain is also the leader in laps completed, having ran 1,292 out of 1,300 thus far.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

* Dario Franchitti (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone), currently third in the championship point standings with 64, won this event from pole in 1998 and holds the qualifying record at Vancouver with an orbit of 106.144 mph (60.405 seconds) in 2000. Franchitti's Team KOOL Green stablemate Tracy took the checkered here in 2000 en route to establishing the race record of 85.034 mph (1:53:06.024), based on 90 laps (160.290 miles).

* Alex Tagliani (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone), the other half of Player's/Forsythe Racing's Canadian duo, proved in last's year's race he has the necessary skills to dominate the 1.781-mile temporary street course. Tags won the pole in Vancouver last season and led the most laps (68), but mechanical difficulties cut his day short and he finished a disappointing 23rd. He is currently in a three-way tie for eighth in points (52) with Michael Andretti (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Motorola and Scott Dixon (#44 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

* Michael Andretti has had success at Concord Pacific Place in past CART FedEx Championship Series events. Andretti won three-straight poles from 1990-92, and has stood atop the victory podium as many times (1991-92, '96). Andretti holds the eighth position in the points with 52 and will make his 300th career Champ Car start this Sunday.

MANUFACTURING SUCCESS

* Ford-Cosworth was the powerplant of choice at Cleveland, taking Patrick Carpentier to victory and claiming three of the top-six positions overall with Alex Tagliani in fifth and Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Rahal in sixth. The victory marked the first race win for Ford-Cosworth in 2002. Toyota-powered drivers have won six of nine CART FedEx Championship Series events contested this season (Cristiano da Matta, 5 and Bruno Junqueira, 1) and Honda holds the rights to the remaining two (Michael Andretti, Long Beach and Paul Tracy, Milwaukee). The hunt for the Manufacturer's Championship heats up heading into Vancouver, with Toyota (166) leading over Honda (134) and Ford-Cosworth (114).

* In the CART FedEx Championship Series' 12-year history at Vancouver, the Toyota-Reynard combination comes in as the defending race champion, supplying the setup that earned Roberto Moreno the victory in last year's event. Honda-Reynard was the weapon of choice from 1998-2000 with Champ Car pilots Dario Franchitti, Juan Montoya and Paul Tracy, respectively. Ford-Cosworth coupled with the Lola chassis to win in Vancouver twice in 1992 and '96 with Michael Andretti. Overall, Honda (3) leads Ford (2) and Toyota (1) in total wins in Vancouver, with Lola and Reynard tied at five each in the chassis battle.

* Reynard took its second trip to victory circle this season with a win in Cleveland. Reynard's other win came at the hands of Michael Andretti (Round 2, Long Beach) before Team Motorola made the switch to the Lola chassis after Round 3 in Japan. Lola has won 7 of 9 CART FedEx Championship Series events this season, including wins by Cristiano da Matta (five), Bruno Junqueira (one) and Paul Tracy (one). Lola leads 187 to 115 in the Constructor's Championship.

NOTEWORTHY

* ATTENTION: The CART credential office for this weekend's CART FedEx Championship Series Molson Indy Vancouver has moved from its traditional location at the Hyatt to the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbour Side (credential rooms are located on the third floor)...1133 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 3T3, (604) 689-9211 tel.

* After announcing its Hispanic Marketing Initiatives two weeks ago at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank, CART will assemble its teams, sponsors and manufacturers this Saturday, July 27 in Vancouver for the first formal gathering in an effort to assist existing teams and partners within the Hispanic community as well as to attract new companies to CART. CART has created a Hispanic Marketing Initiative for both Mexican- and U.S.-based companies, with marketing executives from companies that focus on the Hispanic market giving input to CART on how to capitalize on the growing interest. CART will schedule and moderate the groups, helping the companies organize promotional efforts within the series. The initiative is designed to aid not only companies that are heavily involved in the Hispanic sector, but also those that would like to expand their reach into Hispanic markets both in and out of the United States.

* Holmatro Rescue Tools, the official rescue equipment for CART and the Simple Green CART Safety Team, will be introducing a new DeWalt battery operated S.C.R.T. (Self Contained Rescue Tool) this Wednesday, July 24 at the Vancouver Fire Department Training Facility. With built-in micro-pump technology, this battery-powered hydraulic rescue tool enables a first responder to act anytime, anywhere. On hand for the introduction will be Director of the Simple Green Safety Team Lon Bromley, as well as 75 Fire and Rescue personal from the surrounding Vancouver area. Bromley will discuss the importance of Holmatro Rescue Tools and how they play a key role in the Simple Green Safety Team's involvement in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

* This Sunday's live broadcast of the CART FedEx Championship Series Molson Indy Vancouver from Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will air live on SPEED Channel at 4:30 p.m. ET. Provisional qualifying will air live on SPEED Channel, July 26th at 5:00 p.m. ET, followed CART Friday Night later that evening on SPEED Channel at 10:30 p.m. and the final round of qualifying live on SPEED Channel, July 27th at 4:30 p.m.

* In a fitting tribute to the memory of award-winning photographer Ron Hussey, regular series photographers and selected CART personnel will be donning Hawaiian shirts this weekend on the second anniversary of Hussey's untimely passing. Hussey was well-known for his work both in and out of the motorsports arena, and was fabled for his habit of wearing colorful shirts while on the job.

CART SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, JULY 26
Champ Car practice, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Barber Dodge practice, 11:45 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 2:10 - 3:10 p.m.
Barber Dodge qualifying, 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, JULY 27
Barber Dodge practice, 9:10 - 9:40 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Barber Dodge qualifying, 12:15 - 12:45 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, JULY 28
Barber Dodge warm-up, 9:00 - 9:15 a.m.
Champ Car warm-up, 9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Barber Dodge race, 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Molson Indy Vancouver, 1:30 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: FRIDAY, JULY 26 - SPEED Channel, CART qualifying, 5:00 p.m. ET (Live); SPEED Channel, CART Friday Night, 10:30 p.m. ET. SATURDAY, JULY 27 - SPEED Channel, CART FedEx Championship Series qualifying, 4:30 p.m. ET (Live). SUNDAY, JULY 28 - SPEED Channel, Molson Indy Vancouver, 4:30 p.m., ET (Live).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Shinji Nakano , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing