CLEVELAND, Ohio - June 26, 2005 - Forsythe Championship Racing driver Paul Tracy, driving the ...
CLEVELAND, Ohio - June 26, 2005 - Forsythe Championship Racing driver Paul Tracy, driving the #3 Mountain Grand Lodge/Avalanche Bay Lola Ford-Cosworth Bridgestone, claimed the Championship points lead in the Champ Car World Series with his 30th career victory today at the Burke Lakefront Airport road course in downtown Cleveland. In an incident-filled event, the Canadian veteran started from Pole and drove a steady race with a good pit strategy by the Forsythe Team that allowed Tracy to lead 46 of 91 laps and take the lead in the chase for the Vanderbilt Cup, 128 to 127 over 2004 defending Champion Sebastien Bourdais.
"That was a crazy race" said Tracy. "There was so much going on and so many people out of sequence on their pit stops that it was hard to stay on top of the situation, but the team did a great job and we timed our pit stops really well. It was too bad Cristiano (da Matta) tangled with somebody but we were in a strong position anyway and he was going to have to stop before me, so I thought we had a good chance to win even if he hadn't crashed. The Bridgestone tires were very strong all day despite the heat and we probably didn't even need to change them at the last stop but decided to be just a bit conservative. It feels great to win and take the points lead here in Cleveland with (new marketing partners) Mountain Grand Lodge and Avalanche Bay joining our team this weekend. We're on a pretty good roll heading into my hometown race in Toronto on July 10th."
Tracy's teammate Mario Dominguez of Mexico City, Mexico (#7 Indeck Lola Ford-Cosworth Bridgestone) had a less satisfying end to an otherwise strong weekend.
"Unfortunately, I had 'one of those days" commented Dominguez. "We started pretty well and the car was fast, but we were being held up by some of the cars in front of us. We decided to roll the dice and pit early, hoping that I would have some clear track when I came back out. When I came back on the track I was with Justin Wilson who was on a similar strategy. At one point we got side by side and although I left him plenty of room he got into the side of my car and spun me out, causing a flat tire."
"I lost a lap and my race was pretty much over unless I could quickly get by a bunch of slower cars. I got along side Ronnie Bremer and we tangled, breaking my front suspension. It's frustrating because we had a car that was good enough for the podium all weekend but sometimes racing luck is a bit cruel. The good thing is that the #7 Indeck car is really fast this year and I know our day will come. This team is too strong for us not to have our luck change soon. Now we're on our way to Toronto for one of the best events on the calendar with lots of knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans. I like the track and our car is good on the street circuits so it should be great."
The Molson Indy Toronto takes place July 10, 2005 on the streets of Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, Ontario. The race will be broadcast LIVE on CBS at 12:30pm ET in the USA and LIVE on the Internet anywhere in the world using Race Director, available at the ChampCarWorldSeries.com website.