CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Pre-event notes

Franchitti ready to close the gap in Denver. Former Honda Indy 300 winner Dario Franchitti is all "fired up" after last weekend's Champ Car win in Montreal and he has championship leader Cristiano da Matta in his sights. Franchitti sits in ...

Franchitti ready to close the gap in Denver.

Former Honda Indy 300 winner Dario Franchitti is all "fired up" after last weekend's Champ Car win in Montreal and he has championship leader Cristiano da Matta in his sights.

Franchitti sits in second place in the championship on 106 points, 55 behind da Matta with six rounds remaining in the title chase, including this weekend's Shell Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado.

The two will attempt to become the first driver to win a second Honda Indy 300 in the 12-year history of the event when it is run and won on the streets of the Gold Coast from October 24-27.

This weekend's Denver race will mark the first time that the 800-plus horsepower Champ Cars will unleash their roar power in the Mile High City since 1991.

This year's edition of the street race will visit the heart of downtown on a 2.59km (1.622-mile) temporary street circuit that winds its way around the Pepsi Center - home to the NBA's Denver Nuggets and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche.

"We're certainly energised by our win at Montreal last weekend and hopefully Team KOOL Green can carry our great results over to Denver," said Franchitti, who won the 1999 Gold Coast race.

"We have always done well at new venues and I've been particularly lucky on the street courses. I'm pretty confident heading into this weekend and I'd like to be the first to win here too.

"I had a chance to tour most of the track this past July and I'm sure it will be a good race. The track is very busy, there's not much time for a driver to rest.

"Denver's mile-high elevation will affect the aerodynamic grip of the car but because there are transitions from asphalt to concrete, we will also need to find the right amount of mechanical grip."

Brisbane-born Kiwi Scott Dixon heads into this weekend's race with a new sponsor on the side of his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Lola.

Dixon has received support from US brewing giant Coors.

"It's great to have a company like Coors on board for the Denver race," said Dixon. "The car just looks fast, even when it's standing still. I'm proud to carry their colours next weekend to show our appreciation.

"I can't wait to get this thing out on the streets of Denver and try to bring home a victory for Team Target and Coors. I was here last week and turned a few laps in the pace cars. It's going to be a great race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing