WHO'S HOT * Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr. ( ...
* Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante/Centrix Financial Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) started fourth and picked his spots perfectly, using a combination of attrition, brilliant pit work from the two-time defending CART Pit Stop Champion Team Rahal crew and pure speed on the racetrack to climb through the field and win last week's Molson Indy Montreal in Canada. Jourdain scored his second win of the season and the second of his Champ Car career, and remains third in the championship with 157 markers behind Bruno Junqueira (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing (164) and leader Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing (192). Jourdain leads the loop in laps completed on the season with 1,532 of 1,564, stands second only to Tracy (594) in the laps led column with 339 and with two wins is one of three drivers now with multiple victories this season (Tracy, 6; Bourdais, 3) with five races to go.
* Spaniard Oriol Servia (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) matched his best career Champ Car finish for the second time this year (Milwaukee) with a second place result in Montreal. The finish marked the second podium of the year for the Pals, Catalonia native and his sixth top five. Servia holds down the sixth position in the championship with 93 markers and is enjoying the most successful season of his four-year Champ Car career.
* All eyes were on Quebec native Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing last weekend in Montreal, and the hometown hero delivered a podium finish of third to the 58,000 Canadian fans in attendance. Carpentier's result ensured a Canadian finished on the podium for all three races north of the border this season after teammate Tracy scored wins in Toronto and Vancouver. Carpentier is fourth in points with 128 heading into the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver this weekend on the strength of his win from pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
* Canadian Alex Tagliani (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Rocketsports Racing did everything but win in Montreal, finishing fourth after thrilling fellow Quebecois with the pole position and leading 52 of 75 laps. With his second pole of the year, Tag joined Tracy (5) and Bourdais (4) as the only drivers to score multiple poles. He currently stands seventh with 87 championship points.
* The Herdez Competition machines of Mario Dominguez (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Roberto Moreno (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) showed speed in Montreal with finishes of fifth and seventh, respectively. Dominguez started 10th and worked his way up through the field for his fifth top five of the year, while Moreno moved up from 13th on the grid to score his eighth top 10 in his return season to Champ Cars.
* Championship points leader Tracy clung to a sixth place run in Montreal after running out of methanol just before the Start/Finish line, which opened the door for Tagliani and Dominguez to pass for fourth and fifth place, respectively. Tracy had another solid run for Player's/Forsythe Racing before the fuel issue and still managed 8 valuable championship points.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Bruno Junqueira returns to The Mile High City as the defending racewinner of the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver. The Brazilian drove wire-to-wire to claim his third career victory in last year's inaugural event on the 1.647-mile temporary street circuit.
* Team owner/driver Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) started on the outside of row one in last year's Grand Prix of Denver and managed to hold onto a fourth place finish in the shadow of the Rockies.
* PacifiCare Foundation and the Dream Foundation Make A Dream Come True For One Lucky Racing Fan...The PacifiCare Foundation, the nonprofit philanthropic arm of PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc., will make a $25,000 donation to the Dream Foundation, a pioneering national charity that grants wishes to terminally ill adults ages 18-65. The donation will raise the PacifiCare Foundation's monetary support of the Dream Foundation to $100,000 for this year in celebration of its involvement with CART Champ Car and Newman/Haas Racing. A pre-race ceremony will be held at the starting line for the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver this Sunday at approximately 12:45 p.m. for Dream Foundation recipient Tom Leavitt, 55, of Eugene, Oregon. Leavitt is a lifelong racing fan and fan of Paul Newman, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing. He was recently diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. As guests of PacifiCare and Dream Foundation, Tom and his daughter, Arcata, will take a behind-the-scenes tour, meet PacifiCare and Newman/Haas driver Bruno Junqueira and watch the race from a trackside suite...The PacifiCare Foundation, CART Champ Car and Newman/Haas Racing have provided DREAM Foundation recipients and their families with commemorative race weekends at selected Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford events. Activities typically include pace car rides, visits with actor Paul Newman and a behind-the-scenes look at racing activities.
* Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain will be sporting new livery when the Champ Cars hit Denver this weekend. In addition to the usual Gigante sponsorship, the Mexican's Lola will carry the logos of the event's title sponsor, Centrix Financial.
* Bridgestone Offers Free Ticket Friday To Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver Pre-race Activities...As the competition heats up for the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver, spectators can save cool cash on many pre-race activities compliments of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT)...."Fans will be able to go from one temperature extreme to another. First, seeing the amazing handling of our Bridgestone Potenza race tires fitted on the Champ Cars on the outside track, and then experiencing firsthand the cool competition and grip on the ice inside the Bridgestone Blizzak Chill Zone," said Phil Pacsi, executive director of consumer tire marketing for BFNT. "This ice driving experience is a true testament to consumers demonstrating how important tire performance is - even on one of the most extreme surfaces," Pacsi added...Free tickets for pre-race activities on Friday, August 29 are now available at participating Denver area Firestone Mastercare Tire and Service Centers, Peerless Tire stores and Tires Plus retail outlets. The pre-race activities include the Bridgestone Blizzak tire event in the Blizzak Chill Zone held in the Pepsi Center, August 29-31. Those already holding tickets to Saturday and Sunday's race activities are also invited to join in the Pepsi Center's Blizzak Chill Zone pre-race events. The public had the first opportunity to experience the Bridgestone Blizzak Chill Zone at the Pepsi Center concurrent with last year's Grand Prix event. As they did last year, consumers will again get to test their limits as they pit an all-season tire against the Bridgestone Blizzak ice tire when both are fitted on identical vehicles. Between driving sessions consumers will also get the chance to take to the ice and skate on the rink the famous Colorado Avalanche calls home.
* Inaugural Grand Prix of Denver Generated $26.5 Million For Area...The inaugural Grand Prix of Denver, held over Labor Day weekend last year, generated an economic impact of more than $26.5 million in revenue for the Denver metropolitan area economy, according to figures released recently by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development. Included in the overall total was approximately $17 million in economic impact from race weekend, including attendee spending at the event, race team expenditures and other revenues generated by race attendees. Additionally, there were approximately $9.5 million in one-time capital expenditures, most of which were associated with the construction of the temporary track, a 1.65-mile, nine-turn circuit around the Pepsi Center. The report indicates that the City and County of Denver received more than $300,000 in tax revenue and fees from the race..."We are very proud of the contribution the 2002 Grand Prix of Denver made to our city and state and we are looking forward to another strong race weekend this year," said John Frew, vice president and general manager of the event. "Unlike previous motorsports events in the area, the Grand Prix of Denver is produced without any public subsidy and we are grateful to the many motorsports fans and our business partners for helping ensure the ongoing success of this great race."
DID YOU KNOW?
* The Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver will mark the first of two upcoming races to implement single-car qualifying procedures. Responding to the challenges of providing competitive full-field qualifying sessions on the tight street courses in Denver and Miami, the CART Champ Car World Series announced recently that it has implemented single-car qualifying for both events. The drivers and teams of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will run both first-round and final qualifying for the August 31 Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver and the September 28 Grand Prix Americas presented by Sportsbook.com in single-car fashion, eliminating concerns over traffic and enhancing safety for competitors and fans..."These changes will not only provide a better and safer racing environment for our teams," said CART Director of Technology Lee Dykstra. "It will also give our fans a truer look at the performances of our teams and drivers during qualifying sessions." The unique format, which will be in effect only for the aforementioned races, will debut in Denver with first-round qualifying on Friday, August 29. Saturday's final round of qualifying in the single-car format, which is believed to be the first of its kind for major open-wheel racing in the United States, will be televised live on SPEED Channel beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. First-round qualifying order will be run in reverse order of Friday practice times for both events, while the order for final qualifying will run in reverse of the first-round results. Each competitor will run one untimed out lap, followed by three qualifying laps. The best single lap of the three will count as the driver's official time. A driver that returns to the pits before taking the green flag will have a chance to run again after all other competitors have qualified, but a driver that runs at least one green flag lap will not be allowed to make another qualifying effort. The timing line will be located near the entrance to the pits in both Denver and Miami, meaning that each driver will run one untimed in-lap segment after his third qualifying circuit. In an effort to ensure that every driver gets the opportunity to run unimpeded, CART Champ Car Stewards will take away a driver's fastest lap if, on their in-lap segment, they are found to have blocked the following competitor's out lap
WHAT: Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver
WHERE: Denver, Colorado 2WHEN: Friday - Sunday, August 29-31
SUPPORT EVENTS: CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, Trans-Am
CART SCHEDULE (All times local):
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29
Champ Car practice, 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30
Champ Car practice, 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31
Champ Car warmup, 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver, 106 laps, 1:00 p.m.
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30 - Champ Car qualifying, 3:30 p.m. SPEED Channel
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31 - Champ Car pre-race show, 9:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver, 9:30 p.m. (tape delay) SPEED Channel.
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.647-mile street course
RACE LENGTH: 106 laps, 174.582 miles
RACE ROUND: 15 of 19 in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
NEXT EVENT: Sept. 28, Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com, Miami, Florida.