CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: PKV Racing pre-race notes

DRIVER: JIMMY VASSER: *Jimmy Vasser is coming off a sixth place showing last weekend in Portland. He has qualified in the top-10 in three of the four races this year including scoring PKV Racing's first pole in round ...

DRIVER: JIMMY VASSER:

*Jimmy Vasser is coming off a sixth place showing last weekend in Portland. He has qualified in the top-10 in three of the four races this year including scoring PKV Racing's first pole in round #3 at Milwaukee. He has finished in the top-10 three times with a best showing of fifth at Milwaukee. Vasser currently stands seventh in the championship race with 63 points.

*This is Vasser's 14th Champ Car season and second with PKV Racing.

*The 2005 Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland will be Vasser's 223rd career Champ Car start and an ongoing series record 202nd consecutive start.

*Vasser is the 1996 Series Champion (fifth Champ car season) and was runner-up in 1998.

*During his Champ Car career Vasser has earned 10 victories (tied for 27th all-time, tied for third among active drivers), 31 podiums, 63 top-five finishes and 126 top-10 showings. He has 9 poles, led 970 laps (22nd all-time, second among active drivers) and earned $11,642,244 (fifth all-time, first among active drivers). Note: Vasser's pole in Milwaukee was the first for PKV Racing and came in the team's 33rd race (total of 52 attempts). It was also Vasser's fifth pole on an oval and his first pole since 2002 in Long Beach. His last win was in 2002 at Fontana.

*Vasser has been running at the end of 138 of his last 178 starts (dating to Milwaukee in 1995) and finished in the top-10 in 126 of his 222 starts. He is a perennial championship contending having placed in the top-10 in the championship standings in eight of his last ten seasons.

*This will be Vasser's 13th start in Cleveland. In 12 previous races at Burke Lakefront Airport he has qualified in the top-10 a total of five times including poles in 1996 and 1998 and finished in the top-10 seven times, including three top-five performances with a best showing of third in 1995.

*Vasser joined PKV Racing in 2004 in the dual roles of co-owner and driver. He is the series' only owner/driver.

*Vasser is one of four former champions (teammate Cristiano da Matta -- 2002; Paul Tracy -- 2003 and Sebastien Bourdais -- 2004) and three Americans (A. J. Allmendinger and Ryan Hunter-Reay) competing in the 2005 Champ Car World Series.

*Vasser, 39, a native of California, resides in Las Vegas, NV.

DRIVER: CRISTIANO DA MATTA

*Cristiano da Matta is coming off a victory last weekend in Portland. The win was the first for PKV Racing in the two plus year history of the team and the 12th of da Matta's Champ Car career. Da Matta has qualified in the top-10 in all four events this year with a best starting position of fourth in Milwaukee. He has finished in the top-10 in three of the four races including the win in Portland. Da Matta is currently fifth in the championship standings with 73 points.

*This is da Matta's fifth Champ Car season and first with PKV Racing.

*The 2005 Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland will be da Matta's 84th career Champ Car start.

*Da Matta is the 2002 Series Champion (his fourth Champ Car season). He moved to Formula 1 the following year competing for Toyota in 2003 and 2004.

*During his Champ Car career da Matta has earned 12 victories (tied for 24th all-time, second among active drivers), 18 podiums, 28 top-five finishes and 41 top-10 showings. He has 7 poles (tied for 35th all-time, fifth among active drivers), led 847 laps (26th all-time, third among active drivers) and earned $4,624,000. Note: Da Matta's win in Portland was the first for PKV Racing and came in the team's 34th race (total of 54 starts). It was his ninth win on a road or street circuit and his first win since 2002 in Miami. Da Matta's last pole was in 2002 at Australia.

*Da Matta has placed in the top-10 in the championship standings in three of his four seasons missing only his rookie year.

*This will be da Matta's fifth start at Cleveland. In four previous races in Cleveland he has qualified in the top-10 twice including one pole (2002) and finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of third in 2000.

*Da Matta is one of four former champions (teammate Jimmy Vasser -- 1996; Paul Tracy -- 2003; Sebastien Bourdais -- 2004 ) and three Brazilian's (Tarso Marques and Ricardo Sperafico) competing in Cleveland.

*Da Matta is the 1998 Indy Lights Champion.

*Da Matta, 31, a native of Brazil, resides in Miami, FL.

PKV RACING NOTES:

PKV Racing is making its fourth and fifth starts in its third race in Cleveland. In three previous starts (two races) the team has qualified in the top-10 once when Vasser started 10th in 2004. They have finished in the top-10 twice as Vasser placed fifth and Roberto Gonzalez seventh also last year.

After four races of the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series season, PKV Racing has established a number of team records. Da Matta scored the team's first win in their two plus year history last weekend in Portland. Vasser earned PKV Racing's first pole in round #3 at Milwaukee. The two drivers have combined to set team records for best combined qualifying, first and fourth at Milwaukee and best combined finish, first and sixth at Portland. They have both qualified in the top-10 in three consecutive races for the first time in team history. Da Matta and Vasser have finished in the top-10 in the same race twice (eighth and 10th at Long Beach and first and sixth at Portland) this year and at least one of them has placed in the top-six in each of the last three races.

-pkv-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Ricardo Sperafico , Jimmy Vasser , Tarso Marques , Paul Tracy , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , Roberto Gonzalez , Cristiano da Matta