Trois-Rivieres: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHAT: Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres WHERE: Circuit Trois-Rivieres - Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada. WHEN: Friday-Sunday, August 1-3. CART TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times local): FRIDAY, AUGUST 1 Practice, 9:25 - 9:55 ...

WHAT:  Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres

WHERE: Circuit Trois-Rivieres - Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, August 1-3.

CART TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, AUGUST 1
Practice, 9:25 - 9:55 a.m.
First Round Qualifying, 2:55 - 3:25 p.m.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
Practice, 9:10 - 9:40 a.m.
Final Qualifying, 2:40 - 3:10 p.m.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 3
Warm-up, 8:45 - 9:00 a.m.
Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, 1:00 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
SPEED Channel:
SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 - 1:00 p.m. ET;
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8 - 5:00 p.m. ET.

TRACK LAYOUT:  1.521-Mile Temporary Street Circuit.

RACE LENGTH: 45 laps (68.445 miles) or 50 minutes

RACE ROUND: 8 of 12 in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship.

NEXT EVENT: August 10, Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio.

* Defending Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres champion Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) and rookie driver Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (#17 Lynx Racing), who is making his CART Toyota Atlantic Championship debut in his hometown, will participate in a press conference at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 31 at Casablanca, which is located on rue Des Forges in downtown Trois-Rivieres.

* Sign Here: All CART Toyota Atlantic Championship drivers will participate in a 30-minute autograph session beginning at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, August 2. The session will be held at the S.A.Q. Terrace at the track.

* Championship Battle: RuSPORT rookie A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT) leads the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship point standings on the strength of four poles and four wins, and has won each of the past two races (at Cleveland and Toronto) after starting from the pole position. He leads second-year competitor Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pro-Works/Discovery Lake/Daily Record) by 27 points. If Allmendinger wins this weekend, he will be the first driver since 2001 series champion Hoover Orsi to win three consecutive races, and will also be the first driver since Orsi in '01 to win five races in a season and the first rookie to win five in a season since Alex Barron took five wins during his rookie season in 1997 en route to the series title.

* O Canada: Canada will be well represented in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres event, as six drivers on the entry list hail from north of the border. Stephan C. Roy (#16 PlayStation 2/MGD/Mexxsport/Momo) and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (#17 Lynx Racing) both hail from Trois-Rivieres, while Eric Jensen (#2 Westin Hotels) and Philip Fayer (#8 PaySystems) also represent Quebec as they hail from Montreal. Defending race champion Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) hails from Vancouver, B.C. and Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN Bearings) was born and resides in Gormley, Ontario.

* Let's Make A Deal: Lynx Racing pilot Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) announced last weekend that he is working together with long-time Champ Car World Series team Walker Racing to put together a Champ Car program for the 2004 season. Valiante and the team are diligently pursuing sponsorship, and if those efforts prove successful, the Canadian will join Toyota Atlantic grad Rodolfo Lavin and 2003 Champ Car rookie Darren Manning on a three-car team.

* Streaks: Rookie A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT) has won each of the past two events on the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship schedule after starting from the pole position, and has not failed to qualify outside the top-three in any race thus far in his Toyota Atlantic career. Allmendinger and third-year competitor Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN Bearings) are the only two drivers to have finished on the podium in five of the series' first seven races. Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pro-Works/Discovery Lake/Daily Record) has finished inside the top-five in five straight races and eight of the last nine dating to a third place run at Montreal last season. Allmendinger's RuSPORT teammate Aaron Justus (#3 RuSPORT) has finished in the top five in six of seven starts this year.

* Adding To History: The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is celebrating its 30th Anniversary throughout the 2003 season. The series has produced notable racing superstars such as Formula 1 stars Gilles Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg; Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, and Jimmy Vasser; 1995 Champ Car champion and Indy 500 winner and 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, as well as current Champ Car World Series competitors Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Paul Tracy, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Rodolfo Lavin.

-atlantic/cart-

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Ryan Dalziel , Darren Manning , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Hoover Orsi , Michael Valiante , Stephan C. Roy , Jonathan Macri , Alex Barron , Gilles Villeneuve , Ryan Hunter-Reay , A.J. Allmendinger , Keke Rosberg , Rodolfo Lavin , Eric Jensen , Louis-Philippe Dumoulin , Aaron Justus , Philip Fayer