CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver Sunday Track Notes

· Well, you don't have to be a farmer to tell what's going to happen weather-wise this morning! With a wet, cool breeze blowing off the stormy Pacific and blue-gray clouds thicker than the CART Rule Book, the rain tires are being mounted by the...

· Well, you don't have to be a farmer to tell what's going to happen weather-wise this morning! With a wet, cool breeze blowing off the stormy Pacific and blue-gray clouds thicker than the CART Rule Book, the rain tires are being mounted by the FedEx Championship Series competitors up and down Pit Lane. The competition hits the track this morning for the traditional Sunday morning warm-up at 9 a.m., followed by the Green Flag for Round 16, the Molson Indy Vancouver.

· At 8:50 a.m., 10 minutes before the start of the morning warm-up session, a mist starts to fall around the 12-turn street course. Though there is no standing water, the telltale color of wet asphalt is what will greet the drivers from CART in a few minutes.

· GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the final practice session of the weekend.

· At 9:08 a.m., #26 TRACY slides into the run-off at Turn 1 but continues on course without apparent damage to he car.

· At 9:10 a.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 84.934 mph (1:15.489), followed by #26 TRACY (84.825 mph; 1:15.586) and #44 KANAAN (84.366 mph; 1:15.997).

· At 9:17 a.m., CART course observers report that the #21 car of GARCIA Jr. is trailing smoke from the left rear as the driver circles the track. GARCIA Jr. subsequently pits the car.

· Also at 9:17 a.m., #15 HATTORI slides into the run-off at Turn 4 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· BLACK FLAG is shown at 9:18 a.m. to #99 MOORE for a Pit Road speed violation. MOORE subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive-thru penalty.

· At 9:18 a.m., #25 da MATTA slides into the run-off at Turn 4 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 9:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #26 TRACY with a lap of 86.085 mph (1:14.480), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (84.934 mph; 1:15.489) and #4X MONTOYA (84.731 mph; 1:15.670).

· At 9:22 a.m., #12 VASSER brushes the wall at Turn 12A but continues on course to his Pit Area without apparent damage to the car.

· At 9:22 a.m., #11 MORENO slides into the run-off at Turn 1 but continues on course without damage to the car. · At 9:24 a.m., #44 KANAAN enters the run-off at Turn 1 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· At 9:28 a.m., the car of #17 GUGELMIN slows at Turn 6 with flames and smoke showing at the left rear of the car. GUGELMIN subsequently pits the car.

· CHECKERED FLAG waves at 9:30 a.m. to end the session with the fastest driver #44 KANAAN with a lap of 87.823 mph (1:13.006), followed by #5 de FERRAN (87.040 mph; 1:13.663) and #27 FRANCHITTI (86.992 mph; 1:13.703). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 27 different cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #9X CASTRO-NEVES, #36X MONTERMINI, #4X MONOTOYA, #33X CARPENTIER, #17X GUGELMIN, and #20X MAGNUSSEN. CART drivers logged at total of 238 laps during this morning's session.

· At 12:55 p.m., CART Chief Steward WALLY DALLENBACH determines that the race start will be single file and that the start will be declared a "Wet Start". This means that all competitors must start the race on rain tires.

· At 12:58 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start your Engines!"

· At 1 p.m., the PPG Pace Car begins to roll with the field of 27 cars following for the first of three pace laps. #2 UNSER Jr., #19 JOURDAIN Jr., and #40 JONES have difficulty starting. All three cars finally get cranked and rejoin the field in the original qualifying positions on the grid.

· YELLOW FLAG waves at 1:07 p.m. to start the 90-lap Molson Indy Vancouver as the latest downpour has the track under water. All laps count from this point on.

· On Lap 2, the PPG Pace Car again comes onto the track to lead the field as CART Race Control has to send the jet drier to deal with standing water at Turn 6.

· Also on Lap 2, #15 HATTORI stalls at Turn 3. CART safety workers quickly get the car hooked up and attempt to tow the car to the Pit Area. The car will not roll therefore the safety workers pick the car up with a tow truck and pull it off course at Turn 4.

· On Lap 3, #21 GARCIA Jr. pits for fuel and then rejoins the field in his last-place starting spot on the grid.

· On Lap 6, #9 CASTRO-NEVES pits for fuel and rejoins the field at the rear of the field.

· On Lap 7, #10 HEARN pits and rejoins the field at the back of the grid.

· On Lap 8, #15 rejoins the field at the back of the grid.

· On Lap 9, #6 ANDRETTI spins at Turn 4 and stalls the car. Before CART safety workers can get the car restarted, the field puts him one lap down.

· GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 11 to finally get the field up to race speed. Going into Turn 6, #26 TRACY passes #40 JONES to take over second place.

· On Lap 12, #5 de FERRAN makes contact with the wall at Turn 10B, breaking the right rear wheel. De FERRAN subsequently retires from the race due to contact.

· On Lap 13, #19 JOURDAIN Jr. spins at Turn 3 but continues on course.

· YELLOW FLAG waves at on Lap 13 after #2 UNSER Jr. makes contact with the wall at Turn 4A. The left rear wheel breaks and UNSER Jr. subsequently retires from the race due to contact.

· GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 16 to resume the race.

· On Lap 17, #18 BLUNDELL passes #40 JONES at Turn 6 to take over fourth place.

· On Lap 18, #19 JOURDAIN Jr. spins at Turn 4 and continues, but the car sustains a broken right front wing.

· On Lap 19, #36 MONTERMINI slides into the run-off at Turn 6 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· On Lap 20, the running order is #4 MONTOYA leading by 5.467 seconds over #26 TRACY, followed by #18 BLUNDELL, #40 JONES, and #11 MORENO.

· On Lap 22, #19 JOURDAIN Jr. and #21 GARCIA Jr. make wheel to wheel contact with #21 GARCIA Jr. spins into the tire barrier while JOURDAIN Jr. continues on course.

· On Lap 23, #99 MOORE slides nose-first into the tire barrier at Turn 6. CART corner workers finally get the car restarted but MOORE loses one lap to the leaders.

· On Lap 25, the running order is #4 MONTOYA leading by 4.208 seconds over #26 TRACY, followed by #18 BLUNDELL, #40 JONES, and #11 MORENO.

· On Lap 26, #40 JONES slides into the run-off at Turn 1 and loses fourth to #11 MORENO. JONES keeps the car running and rejoins the race at the end of the lead lap.

· On Lap 28, #11 MORENO passes #18 BLUNDELL at Turn 6 and takes over third place.

· On Lap 29, #27 FRANCHITTI passes #18 BLUNDELL to take over fourth place.

· On Lap 30, the running order is #4 MONTOYA leading by 4.288 seconds over #26 TRACY, followed by #11 MORENO, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #18 BLUNDELL.

· On Lap 33, #33 CARPENTIER passes #18 BLUNDELL at the entrance to Turn 1 to take over fifth place. · On Lap 34, #7 PAPIS and #8 HERTA make contact against the tire barrier at Turn 6 with the rear of the car and continues on course with damage to the right rear wing. Smoke begins to show from the right rear as PAPIS heads to his Pit. HERTA's car stalls on track with a brief fire breaking out at the rear.

· On Lap 35, the running order is #4 MONTOYA leading, followed by #26 TRACY, #11 MORENO, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #33 CARPENTIER.

· On Lap 36, #26 TRACY passes #4 MONTOYA as the cars cross the start/finish line to take over first place.

· On Lap 37, #26 TRACY spins exiting Turn 3 and hands the lead back to #4 MONTOYA. TRACY rights the car and rejoins the race in third place.

· YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 37 to allow CART safety workers to attend to the stalled car of #8 HERTA.

· On Lap 38, the lead lap cars pit and #4 MONTOYA wins the race off Pit Road, followed by #26 TRACY, #27 FRANCHITTI, #11 MORENO, and #33 CARPENTIER.

· Exiting the Pits on Lap 38, #22 GORDON is called for a Pit Road speed violation. GORDON is scheduled for a Black Flag when the race goes to Green.

· On Lap 43, #22 GORDON slides into the tire barrier at Turn 7 and breaks the left front suspension. GORDON was one of the first drivers to put on slick (untreaded) race tires in the previous stop. GORDON retires from the race due to contact and the Black Flag penalty will obviously not be served.

· On Lap 44, #40 JONES and #99 MOORE both pit and put on slicks as the groove is starting to dry out on the race track.

· GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 46 to resume the race with the running order #4 MONTOYA leading, followed by #26 TRACY, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #11 MORENO.

· On Lap 46, #40 JONES makes contact with the rear of the car against the wall at Turn 12 and continues on course.

· On Lap 47, #36 MONTERMINI and #24 PRUETT make side-to-side contact and PRUETT spins in the corner. Both cars continue on course with no apparent damage.

· On Lap 50, #6 ANDRETTI brushes the wall at Turn 10 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

· On Lap 50, the running order is #4 MONTOYA leading by 6.701 seconds over #26 TRACY, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #11 MORENO, and #33 CARPENTIER.

· On Lap 51, nose to tail contact occurs at Turn 12 between the lapped car of #40 JONES and second place #26 TRACY with JONES being spun into the wall as TRACY, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #6 ANDRETTI swing wide to avoid the incident. FRANCHITTI gets around TRACY to take second as TRACY regains control. JONES subsequently retires from the race due to contact.

· On Lap 52, #11 MORENO passes #26 TRACY to take over third place.

· On Lap 53, #11 MORENO pits to put on slick tires. As the crew removes the left rear tire, they encounter a mechanical difficulty. MORENO loses three laps in the process before he can get back on course.

· YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 55 as #99 MOORE makes hard contact with the wall at Turn 8. MOORE was on slicks and had gotten off the drier racing line on the entrance to the corner, precipitating the incident. The driver exits the car under his own power but the left side of the car is destroyed. MOORE subsequently retires from the race due to contact.

· None of the lead lap cars pit under this Yellow Flag.

· GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 59 to resume the race with #4 MONOTOYA leading #27 FRANCHITTI, followed by #26 TRACY, #33 CARPENTIER, and #17 GUGELMIN.

· On Lap 60, #27 FRANCHITTI attempts an inside pass of #4 MONTOYA at Turn 4 and spins into the tire barrier. The car loses the rear wing as FRANCHITTI gets restarted and continues on course. FRANCHITTI pits the car on Lap 62 to allow his crew to start work on the rear wing. FRANCHITTI leaves the pits and stays on the lead lap, again pitting on Lap 63 for the crew to finish the installation of the new rear wing. FRANCHITTI completes the process and re-enters the race in 14th place.

· Also on Lap 60, CART Race Control announces that #18 BLUNDELL and #19 JOURDAIN Jr. pitted before the Pits were declared open and they will both receive a Black Flag when the race goes back to Green.

· YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 60 after #18 BLUNDELL slides into the wall at Turn 8 and makes hard contact with the front of the car against the wall. Almost simultaneously, #26 TRACY loses control at Turn 11, jumps the curb, and makes hard contact against the outside wall at Turn 12. Both drivers are uninjured in the incident but both cars are retired from the race due to contact.

· On Lap 64, the Green Flag is momentarily displayed but replaced almost immediately with the Yellow Flag after #19 JOURDAIN Jr. spins into the tire barrier at Turn 12. The driver is uninjured in the incident, but the car is retired due to contact. Obviously, neither BLUDNELL nor JOURDAIN Jr. will serve the Black Flag penalties!

· On Lap 65, CART Chief Steward WALLY DALLENBACH announces that the race will be a timed race.

· GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 68 to resume the race with #4 MONTOYA leading, followed by #33 CARPENTIER, #12 VASSER, #17 GUGELMIN, and #25 da MATTA. FRANCHITTI has moved to 13th place.

· On Lap 70, the running order is #4 MONTOYA leading by 3.231 seconds over #33 CARPENTIER, followed by #12 VASSER, #17 GUGELMIN, and #25 da MATTA. FRANCHITTI is now in 11th place.

· WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 73 for #4 MONTOYA as the two-hour window has been reached. A furious battle takes place in positions sixth thru ninth with #9 CASTRO-NEVES and #44 KANAAN losing sixth and seventh respectively to #10 HEARN and #20 MAGNUSSEN.

· CHECKERED FLAG waves on Lap 74 for the winner of the Molson Indy Vancouver, JUAN MONTOYA! MONTOYA averaged 65.279 mph in his win, taking 2 hours, 1 minute, and 8.183 seconds to take the win. MONTOYA wins by 7.585 seconds over second place PATRICK CARPENTIER. JIMMY VASSER comes home in third, with MAURICIO GUGELMIN in fourth, and CHRISTIANO da MATTA in fifth. MONTOYA led all but one lap of the race; TRACY led Lap 36. The Yellow Flag waved five times for 34 laps.

· JUAN MONTOYA logs his seventh victory of the season today; one shy of tying the CART record for wins in a season. ANDRETTI won eight in 1991 and UNSER Jr. did the same in 1994. This is also MONTOYA's third consecutive victory, one shy of another record. UNSER Jr. won four in a row in 1990 and Alex Zanardi did the same in 1998.

· PATRICK CARPENTIER's second place finish matches his career-best finish. CARPENTIER also finished second at St. Louis in 1997. This is also the best finish by a Canadian in the Vancouver event in its ten-year history.

· JIMMY VASSER comes home third today, matching his season-best finish established at Chicago two weeks ago. This is also VASSER's fourth consecutive top-five finish. · Quotes from today's top three finishers follow:

· JUAN MONTOYA, Target Honda Reynard: "This morning during the warmup, the car wasn't brilliant, and I was kind of concerned about a damp track. But we did some changes after the warmup and the car improved. [Regarding Franchitti's attempt at a pass for the lead on Lap 60] I got a bit concerned when I got into the corner. I knew he was going to go for the move, and he was too far back. But fortunately, it worked out OK. I wasn't gonna be soft with him, just like he wouldn't be with me. I know he scored a few points, but it feels good to leave here with 22 points in my pocket."

· PATRICK CARPENTIER, Player's Forsythe Racing Team, Ltd. Mercedes Reynard: "I'm very happy. Our team did very good work with the car this afternoon. There's no better place for this, with Player's sponsoring the race along with Molson, so it was our best day in a long, long time. Jimmy [Vasser] was on me pretty hard [at the end]. I was hoping the race was going to be over pretty soon. It's more gratifying [than his runner-up finish at Gateway in 1997], because it's contract time. I'm very happy. It's in Canada, and it's at home. There's no better time or place for this one."

· JIMMY VASSER, Target Honda Reynard: "Starting 16th, I was kinda hoping for conditions like we had today. If it stayed wet, we had to hang on and try to stay on the track. I managed to pick up five or six positions on the track and the rest due to attrition. It was treacherous in the wet, and then it was treacherous in the dry. It was a really tough race, a mental race. I was around a lot of stuff that happened. I just tried to hang on, and lo and behold, we got some points."

· The CART Ladder System, Indy Lights and KOOL Toyota Atlantics, is again well-represented today at Vancouver. KOOL Toyota Atlantic Championship graduates took two podium spots with PATRICK CARPENTIER second and JIMMY VASSER third. Graduates of CART's two ladder systems earned six of the top nine finishing spots today. In addition to the two already mentioned, CHRISTIANO da MATTA finished fifth, RICHIE HEARN finished sixth, HELIO CASTRO-NEVES finished eighth, and TONY KANAAN finished ninth.

· CART Vice President of Competition J. Kirk Russell and Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach announced that Hogan Racing LLC has been placed on probation for disregarding the instructions of a CART official during Saturday's qualifying session. Hogan Racing LLC was cited for four violations when the team attempted to qualify the 9X car that had been withdrawn from the preceding day's provisional qualifying. For additional information on the Hogan Racing infraction, please refer to CART Pit Note No. 12. · Even with the rain and cool temperatures, 60,938 brave souls piled into the gates here for the Molson Indy Vancouver with the weekend's total attendance at 152,929.

· This concludes the Pit Notes from Vancouver, B.C. We'll see you next week at Laguna Seca Raceway in beautiful Monterey, California for Round 17 of the FedEx Championship Series, the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Shell 300! Keep up with the comings and goings of the FedEx Championship Series on the official CART website, CART.com. You have a good week, eh?

-CART-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Alex Zanardi